PROPERTY OF THE *~//3
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T H E
STRUGGLE OF. THE HOUR:
A DISCOURSE DELIVERED AT THE
PAINE CELEBRATION IN CI MINNA T
January 29, 1861.
BY ORSON S. MURRAY,
" My ear is pain'd,
My soul is sick with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart ;
It does not feel for man. The nat'ral bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd." — Cowper.
WARREN COUNTY, OHIO.
STRUGGLE OF THE HOUR
A DISCOURSE DELIVERED AT THE
PAINE CELEBRATION IN CINCINNATI,
January 29, 1861.
BY ORSON S. MURRAY.
" My ear is pain'd,
My soul is sick with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart ;
It does Bot feel for man. The nat'ral bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd." — Cowper.
WARREN COUNTY, OHIO.
To some, il may appear paradoxical, that a party, discarding
compromises, should expect to be heard in an assembly, com-
posed of opinions so various, that somewhat of compromising
is necessary to getting along. Well, if compromising may
mean so much, as hearing and being beard, I am prepared for
it. Whenever the South are prepared for freedom of speech,
all will be right. Whenever they will enter into bonds, giving
satisfactory security, to abide by the Constitution, in its pro-
visions that there shall be " no law abridging the freedom of
M speech ;" that " the citizens of each State shall be entitled to
" all privileges and immunities of the citizens in the several
" States ;" that " no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or
" property, without due process of law;" "nor cruel and unjust
" punishments inflicted ;" all will be right. But a compromise,
involving abnegation of all these vital elements, makes the
Constitution a mockery — " collapses it into a dead letter."
Such a Constitution is a sun more than half eclipsed, and thus
made impotent, as to vitalizing energies for the wants of exist-
ing orders of intelligences. But more of this by and by, when
we come to the argument.
There is agitation for the sake of agitation. That is children's
play — young and old.
There is agitation for gain. That is the part of pickpock-
ets — low and high.
There is agitation for self-foisting into favor, place and
power. That is a work for demagogues and despots — in state
and in church.
There is agitation for purification and preservation of the
human mass. That is a work for philanthropists and bene-
Undoubtedly there is much of patriotism among those who
are denouncing philanthropists. The latter can certainly afford
to be charitable to the former. Time will have to determine,
if it can, whether the doings of these or of those have been
more beneficent. Put it on record.
Thoy who magnify inspiration, making the inspirer to be
greater than the inspired, after they have shouted aloud, great
was Washington, are bound to shout louder, greater was Paine.
So of those who exalt emancipators of thought, as compared
with emancipators of hands and feet.
The work of Paine and the work of Washington were in the
relation of cause and effect — of mover and moved— of instiga-
tor and executor. Paine was the man to point out what was
to be done; Washington was the man to do it.
The comparison is not to be taken as invidious, or inimical.
It is not to lower the one, but to elevate the other. Washing-
ton did nothing but what became popular; hence his exemp-
tion from criticism, and the concealment of his imperfections.
Paine, besides projecting the popular work for Washington,
projected another and greater work that has never yet become
popular— the length of time for the accomplishment being
necessarily somewhat in proportion to the greatness of the
work. In his unpopularity he has not escaped criticism; and
',he criticism has protracted the unpopularity. All this has
been of necessity. Time will take proper care of it all.
We have no business with the imperfections of the dead, or
of the living, but to prevent the imperfections doing harm. The
greater the amount and proportion of goodness in any revered
charactor, living or dead, the more necessary the ungrateful
task of pointing out the imperfections, at times and in places
when and where they have harmful power. The exceptions
have to be heeded as well as the rules.
In our ignorance, we are liable to worship unworthily. The
liability is, that the worshiper will get contracted, and the
worshiped expanded, out of proper proportions. The worshiper
is iujured in loss of self-respect and usefulness, by being un-
duly debased ; while the worshiped is not benefited nor made
more useful, by being unduly exalted.
Benjamin Franklin was a great benefactor; but thousands of
his worshipers have been injured by robbing themselves of
needed sleep, following his precepts end examples in that par-
ticular. The Bible character under the name of Solomon, has
been worshiped as the wisest of men, — as having been under
the immediate inspiration of an all-wise god. Many of the
sayings attributed to this character have been vastly useful ;
but who can doubt that the impurity, the libertinism, the las-
civiousness, of that divinely-inspired character, are doing their
work of destruction to-day, in Utah and all Bibledona ? Henry
Ward Beecher says that " all there is of God to him is bound
" up in the name Christ Jesus." The sayings attributed to this
character, too, contain much of the best wisdom embraced in
the sayings of his predecessors. But his teaching the existence
of a devil, a punishing, revengeful god; and his damning for
disbelief in his own infallibleness — to say nothing about num-
berless other errors he inculcated — has, to the present time,
kept up sectarian strife, uncharitableness, detraction, malignity
and manslaughter, throughout all Christendom.
In proportion as the sayings and doings of these and other
characters are taken as under inspiration from infallible sources,
their errors have power to hurt. It can never be known how
much our preachers of liberty have been made and kept prac-
tical enslavers, inspired by the pernicious examples of wor-
shiped men, the creatures of bad circumstances, and of wor-
shiped gods, the creatures ol worse circumstances. That he
who has been worshiped as the "father of his Country" was a
slaveholder, and that he who has been worshiped as the " God
of our fathers" was the author of slavery and patron of enslav-
ers, is a most deplorable misfortune that has had the effect
greatlj- to demoralize and delay the operations of our experi-
menting for freedom. 1 say our experimenting ; for this is the
most that can be said of it. Three-quarters of a century we have
been experimenting without success. It is for the future to re-
veal whether it comes out success or failure. Hitherto, it has
been only a preaching up and a practicing down. It has been
good in the pretension, but evil in the performance.
The time has been, when no better way was known to gov-
ern men than to keep them in superstitious fear of mysteries,
wrapped up in Bibles and Constitutions — both and all the con-
jured instrumentalities of priests and politicians. The time
has come, when we have been hearing much said about self-
government. As yet, however, this is only talked of. Whether
or not it is to be reduced to practice, is a question to be settled.
During my attendance of these anniversaries, on former oc-
casions, attention has been given to the Old and New Tebta-
ments. On the present occasion, it seems proper to give some
attention to the Constitution and the Union.
When I'm through, say which you please — whether the Bible
and the Constitution are the inspirers of the people, and respon-
sible for their conduct; or the people responsible for the Bible
and the Constitution.
The Bible begins by prohibiting knowledge, and ends by for-
bidding improvement — deterring from growing wiser and bet-
ter. Because it does this, and because it teaches so much that
is immoral and inhuman, hindering development for intelli-
gence and virtue, by its divine authority, I lay it down, place
my heel on it, and then put my toe against it. [While it is
down, if we could tread out the divine from that composition,
leaving it human ; and then tread out the inhuman, leaving it
humane, it might be fit to be picked up and put on a shelf, by
the side of Homer, Herodotus, and Sbakspeare — I will not say
Milton ; that would be descending to the divine again, — that
belongs on a lower shelf] For all other productions, divine or
human, coming with like assumptions and like tendencies in
the regards mentioned, I have like treatment — to be called in-
dignities, if you please so to call it. If the Constitution is the
same enemy to human freedom, and to improvement in knowl-
edge and goodness, that the Bible is, it is time to throw it down,
trample on it, spit on it, and kick it out of the way.
Is the Constitution such a thing? Does it come to us dic-
tated as a finality? Does it deprive multiplying millions of
knowledge and freedom. And, as such a thing, are we bound
to preserve and perpetuate it? There cannot be too much rever-
ence for what is promotive of intelligence and liberf?/. There cannot
be too much irreverence for ivhat is promotive of ignorance and
blavcry. Which way are we drifting?
The idea, heretofore so universally cherished, that it is sac-
rilege to touch the Constitution for the purpose of changing it,
may be taken for granted to have been done away with, after
all that has recently transpired at Washington. The convul-
sion is past. The agony is over. The President has spoken
out, proposing alterations. Senators and Eepresentatives have
followed in quick succession with their proposals. Why have
we had nothing of the kind before? Senator Seward, our
sage statesman, who is listened to as no other American senator
or statesman of the present time is listened to, says all our State
constitutions have to be repaired and remodeled, as often as
once in twenty-five years. Says, too, that " every State of this
" Union is just like the Federal government." By this the con-
nection makes him to mean that the^Federal government needs
repairing and remodeling as often and as much as the State
governments. Whether he meant to be understood as confess-
ing thus much or not, he knows it to be the truth. In fact, he
makes himself wordy to show that it is no occasion for surprise
to find the Federal machinery sadly out of repair, after having
been neglected three times as long as the machinery of the
States will bear neglect. In truth, he knows that the opera-
tions of the Federal government have been getting worse from
the beginning, under the corrupting constitutional compromise.
To the contrary of his statement, that tho Federal and State
governments are alike, be knows that no State government of
the thirty-three has in itself any such antagonisms and war-
ring elements as the Federal government, to weaken and im-
pair, early and perpetually. Why then has it been put off so
long ? What else is so plain in the protracted neglect, as the
corrupting tendencies of party politics? One party wouldn't
touch it, lest the other party should get advantage. They
have been watching each other with a " godly jea^usy," as I
heard a Methodist preacher, in my boyhood, saying of the sec-
tarianism of Christianity. It was a good thing they were
divided into sects. It kept them watching over each other
with a " godly jealousy." As if a jealousy that creates animos-
ity, destroys good neighborhood and sheds blood, is a good
thing because it is godly. As if such " godliness is gain." As
if a jealous god had not done some of the worst of all work for
mankiad. If there be anything worse it is party politics.
I asked, which way are we drifting? What are the indica-
tions? The President proposes alterations. His proposals
make it plain that in his view, under our Constitution, we have
been prepared for doing worse than they were prepared for
doing when it was made. His amendments are to go in the di-
rection of augmenting and perpetuating the ignorance and the
inhumanity. He would have the Constituiion made more ex-
plicit and more executive for ruling out reason and ruling in
force ; for making capital to own labor ; coining the coming
human millions into currency, to be handled and used for the
benefit of the brokers.
What is remarkable — challenging attention — standing out to
be studied in these eventful times — these transition times —
these enigmatical times — is the fact, that these proposals are a
part of the President's last message, at the winding up of his
career, after the election of his successor, which has been pro-
claimed by friends and foes as being an effort to stay the de-
cline ; to stop the spread of the disease; to prevent the pro-
gress to destruction. Under other circumstances it would have
been less surprising. Nothing better was to be expected of
his party than that they should be ready for such a measure,
with the power in their own hands. That Douglas, Critten-
den, and Pugh are ready to make the most and the worst of it,
is not an affair now worth stopping to criticise. The wonder
was — [was — I don't say now is, after all that has since been
shown on the part of the other party] — that Buchanan should
have risked his reputation in history with such an implication
as to the corruptness of the other party, as well as his own.
But it is turning out that he is a discerner of the times.
Plainly, the President has no faith in the professions of the
opposing party. He looks for no practice to correspond with
their preaching. He understands religion and politics to mean
money, and not humanity. Prayers and stump speeches, pro-
tracted meetings and political caucuses, ecclesiastical convoca-
tions and presidential campaigns, he understands to be nothing
more nor less than measures for effecting a change of hands at
the pockets of the people. He believes that his opponents
have been talking for place — not for improvement. He knows
that religion is religion, and that politics is politics, under
whatever garb or name, whatever show or pretext. He looks
for the Bible and the Constitution to continue to be used for
keeping down thought and reason, and keeping up fraud and
force. He expects his successors to be and to do like their pre-
decessors, in placing one hand on the Bibje, the other on the
Constitution, rolling their eyes heavenward, and in this atti-
tude, with these witnesses and sanctions, swearing by slavery,
under the god of their slavery, who is the god of their Bibles,
their battles, their Constitution and their Union.
Say not that he is only judging the other party by his own.
There is too much of the case, making it look like that, to op-
ponents, who cannot see themselves as others see them. But
there is too much more of it besides, making it look otherwise.
There is too much in the history cf the case, and in the present
movements and manifestations, justifying the President in his
presumptions and assumptions. It is }-et to be seen whether or
not, after the call has been made to have the Constitution taken
in hand and changed for the worse, there will be courage and
virtue equal to meeting the challenge and making an attempt
to change it for the better. No one pretends to think the Pres-
ident has proposed a sacrilegious act, in moving to make the
thing more exceptionable and objectionable than it is — to make
it positively fit to be torn in pieces and trampled out of sight —
to make a record to be blotted out and washed away with tears
and blood. Nobody has expressed surprise at the proposition.
Every body was prepared to expect it all and more.
Now, suppose this measure for strengthening slavery had not
been proposed by the subsiding President. And suppose our
President elect to propose, in his inauguratory speech or his
first message, measures just as far the other way — as great a
change of Constitution in favor of freedom, as has been pro-
posed in favor of slavery. Would there be no surprise ex-
pressed ? There is not a besotted, demented secessionist of the
South, who knows the record of Abraham Lincoln, and of the
party which has elected him, who looks for the least thing of
the kind. Nor is the sturdiest statesman in the ranks of the
Republican party, (so styling itself,) prepared to make such a
move, or to accept it from his representative man. There is
preparation all around to hear proposals of amendment — for
slavery ; but all would be surprised, and a majority would be
alarmed and convulsed at proposals of amendment for liberty.
Such has been the tendency and effect of our boasted Consti-
tution, that we have been living under for three-quarters of a
century. This is the virtuous thing that is too clean to be
touched for the purposes of liberty. It is dirty enough, though,
to be dabbled with for the purposes of slavery. Cease, then,
to stigmatize Buchanan as a coward — or confess that our Con-
etitution and our Union, our Bible and our religion, have cor-
rupted, debased, brutalized the people of the nation. Buch-
anan has the heroism to propose changing the Constitution for
the worse. Lincoln and his party have not the heroism to pro-
pose changing it for the better. Their conviction is that the
people are so depraved, under the action of the Constitution
and the Union, the Bible and its religion, that they would not
sustain them in the improvement. After all that Seward has
said and confessed, and with all that he knows more and has
suppressed, as to the need of remodeling the machinery of the
Federal Government, he lacks the virtue to meet Buchanan
and demand as much for freedom as Buchanan demands for
slavery. He has not the fidelity to equity, that Buchanan has
Wm. H. Seward and Thurlow Weed have much to say as to
what the Bepublican party can " afford " to do, in the way of
letting things take their course, now that they have got the
Government into their own hands. In words they are magnan-
imous ; in actions, they are pusillanimous. It is a clever way
of excusing themselves and their party, for placating their
Southern masters with promises not to disturb them in their
possession of constitutional advantages which they took when,
as Weed says, " slavery was the rule and freedom the excep-
" tion." For he says this was the way the constitutional com-
promise started. He calls special attention to this fact, in jus-
tification of further compromise. As if beginning badly because
you had not the power to do otherwise, is a justification for
going on worse, when you boast of power to do better.
Weed anticipates objections. It is objected to further and
still worse compromising, that it has been going on from bad
to worse long enough, — that to the beginning, with all the ad-
vantage they took, slavery being the rule and freedom tho ex-
ception, the Southern sovereigns have already too long gone on
adding compromise to compromise — now dictating worse, and
then displacing with worse still. To this, Weed replies, by
handing the matter over to coming generations. Don't say he
has any faith in his masters, that they will not sometime exact
still more and woree. Only, it would " not be in our genera-
" tion, or the next." Into this most revolting perfidy — this be-
trayal of trust for coming generations — he would bribe the lie-
publican party, with the prospect of their keeping themselves
in place and power, by selling out in advance the rightful in-
heritance of freedom, in the shape of territory now to be ceded
perpetually to slavery. Children are wont to look charitably
on the deeds of parents, done in imperfection of development ;
but where is the eseuse for this party, boasting of power to do
its pleasure, and using that power thus perfidiously? While
blessings are withheld from Benedict Arnolds, curses will recoil
on the transmitters of such an inheritance.
After this sentence is on paper, the mail brings report of
Seward worse and worse. He not only does not meet Buch-
anan and call for the contrary, but he vies with Buchanan in
willingness to placate the implacable — in readiness to humble
himself and beg for crumbs of favor — to sell his birthright, his
manhood, and the rights of his fellow countrymen, for the priv-
ilege of being the tool of tyranny. He is reported as pro-
" An amendment to the Constitution, providing it shall not hereafter be
" amended, so as to give any power to the Federal Government to interfere with
" slavery in the States, and this provision to be made perpetual."
Thus he would make the hooks into links, and weld the ends
of the chain together, and throw the chisel and hammer out of
reach, binding the North to perpetual support of slavery in the
States. This is the grossest insult yet to intelligent freemen —
the basest of all treachery to the cause of human emancipation.
Benedict Arnold's treachery was nothing to be mentioned or
thought of in comparison with it. Verilj-, if the Constitution
and the Union have prepared the people for such a proposition
from such a source — have so debased the people in the eyes of
Wm. II. Seward that he should dare thus to approach them — it
is the most shocking indication of the perniciousness of the in-
spiration ; the most overwhelming evidence of demoralization
past renovation; the most alarming symptom of disease be-
yond the reach of available remedy. We have been taught to
look upon Louis Napoleon as a perfidious wretch and monster;
but the American people are worthy to be ruled over by a baser
and more brutal than he, if they do not henceforth spurn with
indignation from their councils all such men as Wm. H. Seward.
What thinks he now, and what would he have to be thought,
of the " irrepressible conflict?" Is it to establish the irrepres-
sibleness of slavery ; and then let freedom, as long as it can,
make the best fight it can — all the while abandoned to final
failure? And what his idea now of " higher law ?" Is it that
the might of the minority shall endlessly rule, enslave and de-
grade the majority ?
The right to alter the Constitution at all is the right to alter
it for freedom. He who would alter it for slavery is faithless
to freedom. Such a man should never have the vote of a
By the way, here, isn't this matter of voting getting to be a
great matter, truly ? A drunken Irishman, who has been fur-
nished naturalization papers and whisky, by some party-
political-caucus arrangement, gets his patriotic feelings up at
the polls ; and, knowing just enough to think that if voting
once is good, voting twice is better, after voting at one ward,
staggers to another and votes again. Why shouldn't he ? He
has been made to think, by the alarmists in the pulpit, on the
stump and at the press, that the salvation of the Union — which
means the same to him in politics that escape from purgatory
means in religion — depends on electing his man. Two dol-
lars being better than one in the hands of the priest, why not
two votes better than one in the hands of the politician ? What
is there to teach him better? What has he seen to make him
think a vote a more sacred thing than a dollar? Hasn't he
been bantered for his vote, by an office-holder or an office-
seeker, for a less consideration than a dollar? — the very officer
perhaps who is to be employed to haul him up and make him
pay penance. The votes in the legislative, judicial and exec-
utive proceedings for his government are matters mixed up
with dollars and dimes; and from year to year, and day to day,
the dollars and dimes are gaining in preponderance. " Outside
*' pressure," "pecuniary pressure," is the ruling power now
becoming popular in our legislative halls and judicial and exec-
utive chambers. The interests that have the most money have
the best chance. The votes that make our laws and that exe-
cute our laws are marketable commodities. Our legislators are
employed more than otherwise now in selling the laborers into
the hands of the capitalists.
The Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Daily Com-
mercial, in favor of compromise, says : [Washington, Jan. 7 :]
" Thurlow Weed is in towu. He is trying to adjust affairs. A great pacnnU
" nr y pressure is to be brought to bear upon Senator Seward, and other leading
" Republicans, to induce them to adopt Mr. Crittenden's propositions. Gov.
" Kimball, Moses Grinnell, and Hamilton Fish, of New York, are here for that
" purpose." * * " Mr. Seward expressed his conviction to them that in thirty
" days things would be settled."
This correspondent of the Commercial is in the interests of
the compromisers. It seems t& be a fair deduction from what
he says that the capitalists mentioned are understood to be in
Washington with bribes for Senator Seward and other leading
Republicans. Of course our senators and our capitalists are
not to be held responsible for all that is written by the corres-
pondents of the press. But the Senator who will vote away tho
millions of money and the millions of men of the North into the
perpetual service of Southern slavery — to keep down its insur-
rections evermore, and give perpetuity to its property votes —
how can be be above bribes ? The right to change the Constitu-
tion for the perpetuity of slavery in the States, is the right to put
the foreign slave-trade in with it. And let him, who will, under-
take to define the difference in the moral turpitude of the two
acts. For senators to sell out the interests of laborers to capi-
talists — sell out labor to capital — is only acting consistently
with the polity of our government, the covenant of our Consti-
tution, which allows money to vote to the displacing of" per-
" sons" — persons North as well as South. There is no equiva-
lent North for those thirty Southern votes on the floor of Con-
gress. The votes thus allowed are a balance of power to hold
the laborers the property of capitalists — laborers North, as well
as laborers South. Every Northern laborer is degraded ana
voted into perpetual service to Southern sovereignty, by the
votes of senators and representatives who vote the perpetuity
of slavery in the States under the present form of the Consti-
tution. It is an atrocity such as all the pirates on the ocean,
and all the other pirates on the land, have not the power to
As the evil inspirations of our Constitution, as it has been
and is, are "past finding out," so the evil deeds of our great
men acting under it and in the spirit which originated its ini-
quity, reach in their effects beyond the power of language to
express, or of* thought to conceive. If George Washington,
when he took the sword to strike for American freedom, hat
started with first striking off the chains from his own slaves;
and then, when the foreign foe had been driven from our shores
and his sword returned to its scabbard, if he had stood firmly
and persistently against the enslavement of the millions, con-
cerning which Jefferson said, "one hour of their bondage is
" fraught with more misery than ages of that which we rose in
" rebellion to oppose," he, in cooperation with the North,
might have kept that fatal compromise out of the Constitu-
tion — or he was no such man of inestimable power for good,
swaying all before him, as he has been worshiped for. But
Washington has been credited with having provided for the
emancipation of his own slaves. Compared with his example,
under the circumstances of those times, how infamous the acts
of those who now sell out the interests of freedom for the paltry
honors of a place in the service of the sovereigns !
If Seward is to be relieved by being yoked with Washington,
Washington is to be burdened by being yoked with Seward.
The responsibility is not to be escaped. Yoke them or leave
them unyoked, as you please. Piracy on the high seas, by
tbe side of the derelictions of the one of these and the overt
acts of the other r is petty larceny by the side of burglary
Horace Greeley is another among the prominent indexes to
the evil inspirations of our Bible and our Constitution. He has
been written to, by Gen. Leslie Coombs, a Kentuckian, who
tells him that what he (Coombs) writes " must be heeded." Hor-
ace Greeley, in response, specifies what he fays, " seem to me
" essential bases of a settlement of the Territorial and Slavery
" questions which I deem essentially fair, just 'and reasonable.
" A settlement on such bases would be repugnant to no moral
" sense, would leave no room for heart-burnings, and would be
" essentially indestructible." The question arises to know
what must be his views of fairness, justice and reasonableness —
and what his moral sense. In these bases specified, he has made
no provision for educating the multiplying millions. Leaves
them forbidden the knowledge of letters, and unprotected in
their social, conjugal, parental and filial rights. Himself and
the majority bound to sustain with influence, money, force and
arms, the ruling minority in this reign of terror and desolation.
Whom is he speaking for? What must be his estimate of the
moral sense of the people of this nation ? No other political ed-
itor in the nation wields more weight of influence. And this
is the morality to flow from such a fountain. We must have
better lext books from which to educate for our press, our pul-
pit, and our forum.
" Would leave no room for heart-burnings." Has Horace
Greeley forgotten the bludgeon of Eust? What security has
he provided, in his terms of settlement, against being again
knocked down in the streets of Washington ? He requires
nothing from the South that the Constitution did not in words
guarantee to him when he was knocked down before. Is it
then that he is to find his security in being more quiet ? And
does he undertake to guarantee that others are to be more
quiet, while they see him bend the knee a little more, and a
little more, and take off his hat a little sooner, and keep it
under his arm a little longer, in the presence of his intimidators,
with bludgeons over his head? Does he need to be told that slav-
ery will be made more and more exacting by every concession ?
It is in the nature of slavery to recognize only masters and
slaves. It makes men into brutes, driving and being driven,
crushing and being crushed. Horace Greeley, the moment he
steps over the line of States, is himself a slave, crouching under
a cudgel or shrinking from a halter. It will always be so, in
spite of any settlement he can make by concessions. While
slavery exists, all the people of the Union must be slaveholders
or slaves. It always has been so. This nation consists of thirty
millions of slaves and three hundred thousand slaveholders.
Just as this paragraph is finished, the mail brings Greeley's
letter to Crittenden, giving reasons for refusing to compromise.
It is manly and brave. It will be an honor to Horace Greeley
as long as he lives, and long afterward. Only, M standing by
" the Constitution as it is" must not be construed into a pledge
from the people of the North to perpetuate it as it is. That will
never do. The " moral sense" of this nation must bo improved,
till the millions now constitutionally kept in ignorance and
bondage shall be constitutionally taught the knowledge of let-
ters, the knowledge of their rights, and have the enjoyment
Before the mail arrived, occasioning this last paragraph, the
ink was in my pen to say that Horace Greeley has been criti-
cised, not because he is worse than other political editors in
general, but because he is better. A large part of them are be-
neath criticism. The object is to show the perniciousness of
the evil inspirations of the Bible and the Constitution on tho
better — and particularly the more influential.
Daniel Webster was the expounder of the Constitution. Ho
began by expounding it for liberty. He came out expounding
it for slavery. They who blame him for inconsistency require
him to be more consistent than the Constitution. In this work
of self-neutralization he was the true and genuine exponent of
that instrument. The Constitution is the same self-neutralized
thing. In this it is like another production that has sometimes
been accepted as its superior; and that on one page teaches
despotism, on another page, freedom; in one part, punishment,
in another part, pardon ; abounding in the highest authority
for war, and for peace; dishonesty, and honesty; perfidy, and
good faith; falsehood, and truth; indulgence, and abstinence ;
incontinence, and continence; iniquity, and equity; ill-doing
in all conceivable ways, and by all manner of means, and well-
doing in general. The difference in these productions, and the
use that has been made of them is, while the older has been
subjected to interpretations going from bad to better, the newer
has obtained interpretations going from bad to worse. Both
have kept up confusion, cursing with inspiration of ignorance
and war — of lying and hypocrisy — of theft and robbery. Theso
are the debauchers that have caused to be conceived, and
brought forth, and reared up, and sent abroad, our clans, our
legions, our hordes of prostitute priests and politicians, to pour
out poison, pollution and death. These vast armies of debasers
and demoralizers are vieing with each other in humbling them-
selves, and making themselves diligent and dirty, in degrading
tasks dictated to them under the lash. Success only makes them
the more servile. The party that have recently come into place
have been in hot haste to get into humiliation. Have been in-
stant, incessant and clamorous in their concessions, lest they
get into disfavor and be displaced. They don't call for the
abolition of slavery. On the contrary, they deprecate the dis-
turbance of it. Don't ask to be excused from being its hound3
and its hangmen. The dastards dare not beg the poor privi-
lege of washing themselves from the dirtiness. Infinitely less
are they equal to asserting their manhood and refusing to
prowl and plunder for pay. So long as they can share in the
robbery they are willing to be tools in the hands of the
All this comes of veneration for antiquated authorities —
comes of iniquitous inspirations from an old parchment and an
older book, the productions of times when necessities made men
mean enough and ignorant enough to think themselves too
poor to be honest. The same canting tories who, in the cos-
tume of Republicanism, with their faces turned North for favor
in the hour of their agony, denounced Douglas, that desperate
demagogue of Union-Popular-Sovereignty-Democracy, because
he " didn't care whether slavery was voted up or voted down,"
the moment they have succeeded in shoving him aside, are on
their knees to make satisfaction to those they have by this very
means offended — ready to yield, not only the stipulated amount
of flesh, but blood into the bargain.
It is wonderful to witness the working of this inspiration
from the old scroll of "rhetorical flourishes" and " glittering
" generalities," and the older volume of monstrosities. It pal-
sied the tongue of the noble Hungarian who visited us. It
poisons the Irish patriots who come to make their homes with
us. It has cowed our Quaker poet into equivocation. It is in
character for lawyers under our Constitution, and for divines
under our Bible, to talk of the "right" of might to rule. It is
not in character for our Quaker poet.
John Gr. Whittier has surrendered, and gone down into the
servility. He has been placed in the electoral college by the
Republican party. So he, too, must show his hand for slavery
*? in the States." He now says: "With slavery in the States
" wo have no right to interfere, and no desire to do so beyond
" the mild persuasion of the successful example of freedom."
What docs this mean ? Does it mean concession to the holders
of chattels in children and parents, husbands and wives, that, if
they choose not to follow the " examples of freedom," it is right
for them as long as they please to hold on upon their human chat-
tels, and hold John G. Whittier and the rest of us bound to
back them in that position ? If he docs not mean this, will he
tell us what he does mean? If he will say it is wrong and in-
human in them, and yet that it is right for him, in fear of them,
to help them, let him say that — let him make that humiliating
concession — let him put himself in that pitiful posture. That
is manifestly what he means. It is simply confessing himself
one of their slaves, cowering, cringing, crawling under their
eihrats. It is the equivocal language of politicians. It is the
language of compromise. It is the language of the Constitution.
It is the language of the Bible. It is the language of ignorance-
The "right" in the case is the right to do wrong to any and
every extent, under authority. It is the right of children to
live by stealing horses and robbing hen roosts, because their
parents have taught them this occupation and enjoined on them
continuance in it.
Which way does progress run ? Is the voice of dead men
more than the voice of the living ? Because the dead have
spoken their wisdom, is it for the living to listen and be silent ?
Did wisdom die and did we bury it with our beloved and revered
parents? What business then have we with steel plows, reap-
ing machines,' mowing machines, sewing machines, steam-
navigation, telegraphs and railroads?
" No right to interfere with slavery in the States" is here in-
tended to be understood as a pledge not to agitate for amend-
ment of the Constitution, to relieve himself and the rest of us
from support of slavery — or the language will bear no construc-
tion relieving from liability to the charge of having been
spoken to deceive. It is plainly intended as a pledge to the
South to continue faithful in their service, under the commands of
the Constitution — allowing them to put their hands in his pocket
as deeply and as often as they will, to " provide for calling forth
" the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrec-
" twns, v and to "protect them against domestic violence" — paying
postage for them, allowing them a balance of power in a prop-
erty representation, &c. He concedes their " right to interfere"
with him, and compel him to be their sentinel and body-guard,
while they rob, riot and ravish. This concession — to have the
interference all one way — all against liberty and humanity ; and
to have it perpetuated — is the more shameful and scandalous,
the more the part of a craven and recreant, inasmuch as tho
Constitution provides him a remedy. If our fathers had made
the Constitution, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, un-
alterable, he might have plead for a measure of relief from re-
sponsibility. Might have thought to have some plausible ex-
cuse for undertaking to throw the responsibility of the living
back on the dead. But he has ground for no such plea. There
is provision for amendment. And it is not said that the amend-
ment shall all be for slavery. It is his own voluntary act, then,
when he consecrates his services perpetually to slavery in the
States, promising not to interfere against it.
Whitticr talks bravely about the barbarity — where it does
not exist. Says: "Outside of the sovereignty slavery has no
" more legal right than polygamy out of Utah. Its home is
" only in the States. Every where else it is an outlaw." And
such an "outlaw" as it is "outside of the sovereignty," how does
it become him to "interfere" for the support of, inside of the
sovereignty? Sovereignty is a significant word here. Its sig-
nification involves more than he meant to be understood as
saying. It involves submission, on his part, to sovereigns, who
hold scourges of scorpions over his humiliated head. And that
word, " interfere," too, involves a meaning more than he meant
to make manifest. It really means that he may and must in-
terfere against liberty, in support of the Constitution and the
Union, which are the perpetutors of slavery. John G. Whit-
tier is as much an advocate and defender of slavery, in support-
ing the Constitution and the Union as they are, as he would be
an advocate and defender of murdering witches, by supporting
the old law of Massachusetts for that abomination, provided
that law were now in existence. The comparison is weak. It
is only drawn to place him in his position. The difference in
responsibility against him where he now stands, words and
figures are wanting in power to compute and express. If John
Gr. Whittier feels inclined to console himself that he is in com-
pany with a multitude who will help him bear the responsi-
bility, he is welcome to the consolation. If he feels relieved
by dividing the matter between himself and his fellow-loy-
alists, he is welcome to the relief, and to the benefits of the
It is a question for men of thought and of probity — men of
virtue and of value — to put to themselves, to know whether or
not they would now enter into such a bargain for themselves,
if they were out of it. Would they take that method to pro-
mote human well-being? Would they become partners in the
robbery and oppression ? "Would they give such advantages,
for the sake of being in such company?
"No right to interfere with slavery in the States?" But it
interferes with us. It degrades labor. It inhibits speech. It
suppresses intelligence. It corrupts our press. It debauches
our pulpit. It makes our Constitution an iniquity — of course
the people constitutionally iniquitous. It makes the people of
the North cowards and kidnappers. It makes pirates of our
seamen. It makes mobocrats of our mayors, our merchants
and our manufacturers. It strikes down our senators. It assas-
sinates our philanthropists. It murders our citizens. It carries
bribery and intimidation into our legislative halls and our judi-
cial and executive chambers. It emasculates our Websters and
our Everetts; and makes traitors of our Buchanans and our
Sewards. It makes misrule and anarchy.
Such a system will never cease to interfere with us, while it
is allowed to exist. Will never relinquish its purpose, while it
is conceded to, till it has carried all before it to the ground. It
knows no propriety or right. Nothing but to advance when
and how it can ; and recede only when and where it must. To
compel, or be compelled. To drive, or be driven. To destroy,
or be destroyed. Talk not of setting bounds to such a system.
Reasons for restraining it are reasons for retrenching it. Rea-
sons for retrenching it are reasons for extinguishing it.
There remains only the question of measures. How shall it
be done? Begin, then, by unyoking ourselves from it. No
longer holding ourselves by a contract we never made — a con-
tract such as we would not now make, and would at no time
have made fur ourselves — a contract that is no contract of ours,
because we had no hand in making it; an affair of fraud j a thing
of overreaching, framed for and accepted by others, and im-
posed upon us; and that we are therefore at liberty to relieve
ourselves from. It was no more competent to our predecessors
to lay us under tribute to South Carolina, than to the Pope of
Rome — to Southern slavery, than to the Catholic, or any other
religion. This declaration involves no undue disrespect for pre-
decessors. It is only maintaining due respect for successors.
The Constitution wisely and virtuously provides against le-
galizing religion. Religion enslaves — enthralls. It compels.
It binds, It ties up. It puts in fear. It keeps in awe of arbi-
trary power. It educates into ignorance of nature — of natural
rights and relations. But no religion dares now, in our coun-
try, to prohibit in its own name and for itself on its own re-
sponsibility, the reading and writing of our own language.
Neither the Episcopal nor the Catholic religion, if clothed with
State power for taxation, would dare do this. Yet this enor-
mity is perpetrated under Constitutional provisions, backed by
Bible sanctions. The Bible takes cognizance of slaves, not as
teachable beings — developing intelligences — but as things of
traffic, chattels, "money." In my boyhood I read — I think it
was from Patrick Henry — that " intelligence is the life of
" liberty." It was a lesson the Bible never taught me — a lesson
the Bible does not teach. The impression received was deep,
and has been abiding. The Constitution and the Bible which
legalize, sanction and sustain a system that prohibits reading
and writing to multiplying millions, are now out of time and
out of place. They belong to the past.
We shall never have peace and good neighborhood, till there
is wisdom enough, and goodness enough, to make Bibles and
Constitutions that don't need priests and politicians to expound
them ; and then we shall be so wise that Bibles and Constitu-
tions will be useless.
It is time for the people to know that their rights are not
derived from Bibles and Constitutions. That Bibles and
Constitutions are only the necessities of ignorance — things to
be changed — to be outgrown and displaced by better things.
Bibles and Constitutions are war-makers, blood-shedders, pun-
ishers, enslavers, destroyers. It is for men and women to be
peacemakers, emancipators and saviors.
It is for the friends of freedom to say, we have had hands in
this iniquity already too long. We will stand it no longer. We
will be out of it. We must and will be released from the respon-
sibility. Those who will persist in it cannot have our help. Put
away the wrong, or we shall put ourselves out of the partnership.
If this be not effectual in reforming our wrong-doing neigh-
bors and partners, it will at least be reformation in ourselves.
This we owe to ourselves and our children. We have no
more right to help kill, than to kill — to help oppress than to
oppress. No more right to sanction and sustain the domestic
traffic than the foreign traffic. No more ri^ht to aid it " inside
" of the sovereignty " than outside — the South side of the Ohio
river, than the North side. No more right to consent to be
held in it because we have been thrust into it, than to go into
it voluntarily for ourselves. It is not for such a majority thus
to be ruled by such a minority. Thirty millions have no busi-
ness to be slaves to three hundred thousand. "We can be out
of it. We are therefore inexcusable tor being in it. The way
is to say we will have no more to do with it, and stop. It is
as plain as for any thief to stop stealing. It is not always
quite convenient for a poor, unfortunate sheep-stealer to do
without his mutton, or to accustom himself to better ways of
obtaining it. But we require him to do it. There is a belter
way than for us to be strengthened of the hands of oppressors.
To help them for the sake of pocketing a part of the gain, is to
make ourselves as felonious as they. To help them, in fear of
them, is to add cowardice and baseness to our felony and inhu-
manity. To induce them, by our help, to do evil they would
not otherwise do, is to make ourselves responsible for their evil
deeds in addition to our own.
John G. Whittier's protest against right of interference, is
the protest of a slave against right of interference with his
chains, and the right of his masters to chain him. This is the
condition of all the slaves who are consenting to be chained by
the Constitution and the Union, and held in subjection to their
masters, the minority. It is the condition of every loyalist to
our system of government as it has been going on hitherto.
"No right to interfere with slavery iu the States!" Putnam
had no right to interfere with the wolf, in the den! Allen had
no right to interfere with British power, in the fort ! But all
illustration is weak and frivolous. Human language and hu-
man history can furnish no illustration for the case. There is
nothing like the terrible facts we have to deal with. The right
to interfere with slavery in the States, by throwing off the yoke
of the Constitution and the Union from our own necks, is the
ight of the majority to rule themselves, instead of being ruled
by the usurping, overbearing minority. It is the right of slaves
to assert their own freedom. It is the right of those who have
tongues, to speak. It is the right of those who have brains, to
provide for developing intelligence. It is the right of parents
to educate their children in rectitude and righteousness, quali«
lying them to be neither slaves nor slaveholders. It is the
right of a community that would cultivate morality, humanity,
virtue, refinement and purity, to cleanse itself from the con-
taminations of legalized robbery, cruelty and debauchery. It
is the right of those on whom rests the responsibility of giving
character and exerting influence abroad, to disabuse themselves
and set a better example among the nations.
The Constitutional Compromise is foul conspiracy against
freedom — a villainous league against the rights and liberties of
the producers. A Union built on it is a structure that cannot
stand. It is cemented with human brains. The time has come
to make a more legitimate use of that element. They who
manipulate for ignoranc?, in these times, are themselves in ig-
norance of their own epoch. They who now rob of brains
better be warned by the fate of those who once robbed of eyes.
To contract intellect and expand lungs and muscles, is putting
out of proportional development for the present period.
Why are our rulers trembling with fear? — their hearts fail-
ing them, and their knees smiting together ? It is conscious-
ness of being in the wrong. It is the faltering of those who
are plotting treason against humanity. It is not for such to
have courage. Courage arises from virtue — from consciousness
of being in the right — of strength in integrity and uprightness.
The ruling is with robbery and unrighteousness. Every thing
is done in fear. Eeason is repressed with rage, rant and roar,
flight is trodden down. Mercy is mocked. Equity is con-
temned. Our officers of government, from lowest to highest,
are either self-created or the tools of corrupted creators — made
by the use of caucuses and mass-meetings, maddened with
money and whisky. Under 3uch inspirations, why should not
the advocacy of reason and righteousness be denounced as folly,
fanaticism and disloyalty?
The Constitution binds the laborers Xorth, with the produc-
tions of their labor, and with their lives, to keep books out of
the hands, and knowledge out of the heads of the laborers
South. This is the liberty we are told of as being the inspira-
tion of our government. It is the liberty of the higher order
of slaves to keep the lower order from rising. What else can
they do so effectually to enslave and degrade themselves, and
to keep themselves enslaved and degraded? It is as suicidal as
it is fratricidal ; and it is as fratricidal as it is snicidal. It is
allowing ourselves to be compelled to be our "brothers' keepers,"
to their destruction and our own. It is loyalty to tyranny. It
is treason to humanity. Our hands are at the heels and the
throats of our fellows, to keep them in the power of their mer-
ciless oppressors, who could not keep them without our help.
"We are cowed into this condition by the Constitution used in-
stead of the cowhide. What signifies it to us, that the parchment
has liberty written on it, when it is cut and twisted into thongs
to lash us into submission and bind us in slavery ? Northern pol-
iticians use their slaves as the Southern planters do theirs — flat-
tering them, inflating them into petty tyrants, by putting them
in possession of these whips and making overseers of them —
the most ignominious of all servility.
Human government thus makes itself to be mockery and
farce — divine government, to be humbug and impostux^e. Ne-
cessities of ignorance all. Will intelligence ever prevail?
We come now to Senator Seward's 12th of January speech,
shadowing forth the policy of the incoming administration, to
be under his premiership. Until this speech, in all the " fanat-
" ical" clamor for the Union, scarcely any attempt was made,,
next to nothing was done, to show cause why — to give a reason.
The Ahimaazes " sa\r a tumult, but knew not what it was."
H. W. Beecher came the nearest of any one to speaking sen-
sibly on the subject, so far as it pertained to showing the real
value of the Union. He ridiculed the idea of " Union for the
" sake of the Union." Had seen this on a banner, and pro-
nounced it a "poor-house inscription." The Union and his god
are manifestly of about equal importance to him. [" All there
"is of god to him is bound up in the name" of a character,
whose preaching, while he " went about doing good," consisted
of countless contradictions, including the utterance of several
fine parables, and tho rehearsal of some sound morality and
sublime philosophy taught by his predecessors ; and whose
practice, while he seems to have been eminently successful as a
" healing medium," and altogether preferable to modern alo-
pathists, j'et cannot be commended for example to be followed,
in the matter of destroying his neighbors' fruit trees, sending
devils into his neighbors' hogs and the hogs into the sea, stim-
ulating wine bibbers with conjured water, and feeding the
hungry rabble with crumbs magnified by faith.] We shall see,
by and by, that before Beech er got through with it he made the
Union worse than ridiculous. He virtually made it a millstone
about the neck of freedom. It will appear also that numerous
others have unwittingly done the same thing; while all the
Union "shriekers" have failed to show a single sound reason
for continuing and perpetuating it on the present basis. The
annoying noise has amounted to about this :
1. Our fathers made this thing. Therefore it is holy. There-
fore it is to be kept in an ark perpetually, to furnish employ-
ment for the holy hands of a countless retinue of self-conse-
crated political priests. " Great is Diana."
2. We shall have war — if we put away this thing that has
kept us at war among ourselves, when it couldn't keep us at
war with our neighbors.
3. We have paid scores of millions for territory — involving
worse than waste of hundreds of millions besides, (saying noth-
ing about lives), for wars and their concomitants. Therefore
we should continue on, and waste additional hundreds of
millions, in carrying out this wretched policy to utter de-
If there has been more than this of it, it has not been brought
to my observation ; and the Cincinnati Daily Commercial and
the New York semi-weekly Tribune are at fault. So great has
been my confidence in the intelligence and enterprise of these
journals, and they having failed, up to that time, to show any-
thing better, I was about venturing, on behalf of a nation need-
ing to be made more wise with truth and reason — and not more
unwise with clamor and confusion — to defy any politician or
statesman to define his position and defend it, in regard to the
Whatever Senator Seward may think he has done, or may be
thought to have done, at defining, his defense is that of an able,
eloquent, winning lawyer, managing a desperate case. He is
badly defined, and worse defended. Has made a bad use of
good English. With fine rhetoric, flowing periods, and capti-
vating intellectual display, he has done infamous work. To all
the senseless sound that went before, he has added the most in-
sulting sophistry — acting the part of a subtle, sold-out magi-
cian. If the people can longer submit to such insulting treat-
ment, it is because they have already too long been under
downward manipulations in the hands of such magicians, in
church and in state.
It is monstrous perversion, when men of uncommon intellec-
tual endowments, having made it a lifetime study to become
powerful in the use of words, employ them, in high places, to
deceive, to deprave — endeavoring " to make the worse appear
the better reason" —
" Leading to bewilder, and dazzling to blind."
When law and gospel show and prove such to be the legitimate
business of their makers and their disseminators, it becomes
Henry Ward Beecher to be sincere and earnest in exclaiming,
" Blessed be infidels ! " Truly, the people are this time, as Dry-
den hath it,
" Spelled with powerful words."
The charm must be broken. The magic must be dispelled.
The place to begin is where Seward leaves off. Commence
at the feet, and disrobe the thing that has been brought to us in
this tempting apparel, commended to our tejiderest affections, to
be embraced and cherished, and we shall discover a hideous hag,
" A monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen."
Instead of finding a " Greek Slave," it will be American slav-
ery — a sight to turn away from with disgust and loathing.
The Senator comes through, saying of the Union :
"No, sir, if it were east down by faction to-day, it would iise and re-appear in
"all its majestic proportions to-morrow."
In this single sentence, in his closing paragraph, he unsays
all and everything he has previously said. Taken in connec-
tion with his previous sayings, it is a full confession to the con-
viction that it would be better that the Union be "cast down"
for the removal of its disorganizing element — for its purifica-
tion — that so it might "rise and reappear" a sound and per-
manent structure. He knows that sooner or later it must come
-to this. Several years ago, he saw and said, "the conflict is
" irrepressible." He was sincere in that uttei-ance. It was the
conviction of a discerning, observing man. It is the conviction
of every man of discernment and observation.
To talk of " its majestic proportions," as it now is, or ever
can be with its present materials, is to talk of the perfection of
a statue, one half marble and one half mortar; the strength of
a cable, one half the links of clay; the power of a locomotive,
with one driving wheel of potter's work; the permanence of an
edifice one half granite and one half adobe; the resplendence
and vitalizing energies of a sun, one half eclipsed. Just as
sure as such a statue would never remunerate nor immortalize
the sculptor — just as sure as such a cable could never lift the
anchor, nor help the ship to ride out the storm — just as sure as
such a locomotive would produce disaster — just as sure as such
an edifice would not be earthquake proof — just as sure as such
a sun would be universal desolation and death for the present
orders of intelligences on our earth — just so sure liberty and
slavery cannot dwell together in unity. Fire and water are not
more irreconcilable. This must be dissipated, or that extin-
guished. Our compromisers should be taken from the places
they occupy, and sent to the common schools to learn the plain-
est lessons of natural and moral philosophy, and the most in-
structive teachings of history.
If there be such recuperative power, why distrust it? Whence
the alarm? What caupe for all this sham show of pretension
to the contrary? There is such power. He knows it. He
knows where it lies, and in what it consists. He knows it is
in the intelligence of the people of the North. He knows that
in this intelligence there is reliable virtue and integrity, equal
to a stronger structure than has existed hitherto, or can exist,
in connection with slavery. How false and treacherous then
in him, and how insulting to this intelligence, to make appeals
to ignorance, tending to the destruction of proper self-respect
and self-reliance — exciting as much as possible fearful appre-
hensions, by pointing to the doings of semi-barbarians and
monarchists. He knows, in regard to foreign invasion, that the
South is not equal to taking care of itself; that with its slavery
on all that extent of coast, it is an increase of hazard to the
North, and would be a detriment, instead of being any help
against a common enemy. He knows that slavery has made
our late wars ; has been trying to get us into war with Spain
and Central America ; that it is the only war element in the
nation; and that it is an element exposing us inevitably and
perpetually to war, intestine, border, and foreign.
If he would be understood as meaning to say that, after being
"cast down," it could "rise and reappear" with slavery, the
reply is, much more it could be done without slavery. The
affinity in which he has such unbounded faith, would, with the
removal of slavery, be strengthened a thousand-fold. What is
more, he knows, and virtually says, disunion would be death to
slavery. See here — he says :
" The opinions of mankind change, and with them the policies of nations. One
" hundred years ago all the commercial European States were engaged in trans-
" ferring negro slaves from Africa to this hemisphere. To-day all those States
" are firmly set in hostility to the extension and even to the practice of slavery.
" Opposition to it takes two forms ; one European, which is simple, direct aboli-
" tion, effected, if need be, by compulsion; the other American, which seeks to
" arrest the African slave trade, and resist the entrance of domestic slavery into
" Territories where it is yet unknown, while it leaves the disposition of existing
" slavery to the considerate action of the States by which it is retained. It is the
* Union that restricts the opposition to slavery in this country within these limits.
•'• If dissolution prevails, what guarantee shall there be against the full develop-
" meut here of the fearful and uncompromising hostility to slavery which else-
" where pervades the world, and of which the recent invasion of Virginia was an
" illustration ? "
" It is the Union that restricts tho opposition to slavery in
" this country." It is the Union which is the guarantee against
" the uncompromising hostility to slavery which elsewhere per-
" vades the world." Tho Union, then, is the slaveholder. He
has himself said it as certainly as if he had used just this num-
ber and this arrangement of words, for this purpose. And this
is all the Union is worth, with slavery. Without slavery, it
would be valuable to all. With slavery, it is a curse to all —
destructive to all human interests.
He says :
*• If, indeed, it were necessary that the Union should be broken up, it would be
" in the last degree important that the new confederacies to be formed should be
" as nearly as possible equal in strength and power, that mutual fear and mutual
" respect might inspire them with caution against mutual offense."
This is shameful impeachment of the morality as well as the
intelligence of the North. As if they were the same ferocious
wild beasts and venomous reptiles slavery has made of the
South. Whatever there is of it at the North comes of connec-
tion with Southern slavery. But tho slanderous imputation is
rebuked by the forbearance and long suffering of the North,
now these weeks, under such provocation as could nover exist
out of the Union and separate from slavery. Bad faith in all
manner of ways. Mobbing. Scourging. Putting to excruci-
ating tortures. Banishing. Assassinating. All the while this
has been suffered and borne with, the North has had tenfold
the power necessary to drive all the barbarians into the Gulf.
The detractor, the defamer, qualified for bringing such impu-
tations, by intimations, is fit to be dictator of the South Caro-
lina dynasty, under the rattlesnake flag. Fear is the motive
power there. It is to put in fear, and be put in fear. Reason
and regard for the rights of others are out of the case. It is
fitting that those who will persist in that way should be left to
be restrained by fear of the oppressed. It is insufferable that
they should longer be allowed to relieve themselves of that
fear, by using for their life-guards, and whippers-in, the intelli-
gent people of the North who are disinclined to violence.
If the North wanted war, they have had abundant occasion
for it, a long time past, in the conduct of the South. The fact
that they have forborne and refrained from it under such prov-
ocations, is sufficient " guarantee " of their peaceful inclinations.
How then is there to be war? The North ceasing their service
to the South, all will be right. The South have not the ability,
if they have the disposition, to carry war into the North. They
have more than their hands full at home. Before Senator Sew-
ard, or any other sophist, can show that the liabilities to war
will be increased by the mutual separation, or a withdrawal on
the part, of the North, it must be shown that the South will
aggravate the grievous provocations heretofore and hitherto
perpetrated. This can never be. Never. The South will then
be under the restraint they deserve — the restraint provided by
themselves — the restraint resulting from their own polity —
their own "peculiar institution." They will be restrained by
fear. They will not dare to treat the North as now; just as
they dare not now treat the citizens of Great Britain as they
do the citizens of the North. If their iron heels become over-
bearing and insufferable to their writhing victims, they will
have to see to that, too, for themselves. Be it so. It is time
to have it so. If a third of a million will persist in keeping in
ignorance, oppressing and imbruting four millions, under the
lash and in chains, it is not deserved that they should have
three or five times as many more millions to stand by and keep
them in countenance and courage. Senator Seward counsels
keeping the North in fear and in danger, to lessen the fear fend
danger of the South, in their chosen dangerous, desperate pol-
icy. The haters of venomous serpents are to he forced to stand
around horrified and exposed, for the benefit and protection of
those who delight to employ themselves playing with them. If
there be those who will listen to such charming, they must take
the fatal consequences. Such would scarcely be worth the warn-
ing. If the North, on reflection, don't come to the conclusion
that the Union, with slavery, is not worth fighting for, — and,
more than this, that fighting to preserve it, and perpetuate it,
with slavery, is self-enslaving and suicidal, — and more still,
that Senator Seward's counseling them to make peace, by yield-
ing themselves into the perpetual service of slavery, is provision
for interminable war, — then I have greatly and sadly overrated
their intelligence ; and Senator Seward may laugh, and South
Carolina mock, at my earnest efforts to deprive them of theirprey.
" Will not descend so low as to ask whether new confederacies would be able or
" willing to bear the grievous expense of maintaining the diplomatic relations
u which cannot be dispensed with except by withdrawing from foreign com-
" merce "
He does descend low enough, though, not only to say this in
this shrewd, politic, deceptive way, but to make appeals kin-
dred to this in other directions, picturing disadvantages and
expenses, for effect. It is the game of an ambitious, unscrupu-
lous profligate. Saying white, when he means black. Saying
light, when he means darkness. Making a show of counseling
economy, for the purposes of abandonment. Preaching words
of peace, to subserve a policy involving inevitable and perpet-
ual war. Making false show of calculation on disintegration
into " many parts" — as if we must apprehend liability to going
entirely to pieces, nearly or quite into separate States — when
he knows the North would be a unit; and himself apprehends
that slavery would soon be abolished — in which case the South
could be restored.
He descends low enough in the case tomake a grave statement,
in face of Congress, the nation and the world, contrary to what
he, the Congress, the nation and the world know to bo the truth.
It is marvelous and ominous, that such a statement, in such a
place, from such a dignitary, for such a purpose, should have
been passed over in utter silence by his listeners and readers.
Not more so, to be sure, than that other parts of the speech
should have been received in the same silence. The speech
has been in the papers every where, and read by the intelligent
readers of such communications generally. When President
Buchanan, in his last annual message, misrepresented the op-
ponents of slavery, the New York Tribune did not hesitate to
denounce him as "dishonest" — as guilty of an "untruth," a
"lie." But when Senator Seward, to deceive the people of the
North and cheat them out of the benefits of a free government,
a government of themselves ; and to cheat them into further
and deeper slavery to the South ; and all for his own aggran-
dizement in office — tells them that " the grievous expense of
" maintaining diplomatic relations cannot be dispensed with
" except by withdrawing from foreign commerce," the Tribune,
that knows him to be "dishonest," "untruthful," "lying," in
this statement, suffers it to go unrebuked and uncorrected —
thus becoming accessory to the audacious imposture. The
other papers do likewise. Senator Seward knows, as does
every other intelligent publisher, that we have commercial
relations with Hayti, without "the grievous expense of main-
" taining diplomatic relations ;" and that the commerce with
Hayti is worth more to our government than the commerce
with any one among two-thirds of the powers he has enumer-
ated with such parade. Are his brows brass? Are his cheeks
marble? Is his heart adamant? Are his reporters his menials?
Are his^ readers ignoramuses, dupes, dogs — that they should
submit to such treatment? It was a lesson not to be lost, that
the attempt of our Congress to establish diplomatic relations
with Hayti, was defeated by the South. It shows " the grievous
" expense of maintaining diplomatic relations" elsewhere, to be
grievous waste, to gratify greedy parasites — a hungry horde of
devourers. An ex-member of Congress writes me thus, on this
" A year of extended travel in Europe satisfied me of the utter uselessness of
" diplomatic connections there. Indeed, it would be be better if we were on tha
" same terms with the whole world, as with Hayti. Our ministers abroad do not
" represent our people, and are useful only as stipendiaries of public bounty."
It goes with a great part of our custom house business, which
expends thousands to collect hundreds; and some of it worse
than that. Such statesmanship is gangrene, to be sloughed
off — is cancer, to be extirpated.
When foreign diplomacy will pay, sustain it; when not, not.
Be honest first ; then as expensive as you please. Stop rob-
bing — though thereby you have to stop squandering. The
North has more means, for all good purposes, separated from
slavery, than connected with it.
In an early part of the performance, he thinks
" It will be wise to discard two prevalent ideas, or prejudices, namelv : first,
U that the Union is to be saved by anybody in particular; and secondly, that it is
" to be saved by some cunning and insincere compact of pacification."
If be is not, in the very worst sense, and to the last degree,
"cunning and insincere," in this very expression, then it is not
to be interpreted by a groat part of what he says besides. Read
it over, and say what the impression is, received from it. If
the second, or latter, clause has any meaning at all, what else
can be inferred from it, but intention to express, in some man-
ner or measure, want of faith in compromises? If this be not
the meaning, tell me what the meaning is. " The Union is not
" to be saved by some cunning and insincere compact of pacifi-
" cation." Now pass over toward the latter end of the per-
formance, take out another paragraph, bring it back and place
it by the side of the foregoing :
" Experience in public affairs has confirmed my opinion, that domestic slavery,
" existing in any State, is wisely left by the Constitution of the United States,
** exclusively to the care, management and disposition of that State; and if it
" were in my power, I would not alter the Constitution in that respect. If mis-
*' apprehension of my position needs so strong a remedy, I am willing to vote for
" an amendment of the Constitution, declaring that it shall not, by any future
•* amendment, be so altered as to confer on Congress a power to abolish or inter-
*• fere with slavery in any State."
What does he mean now, when the two widely separated par-
agraphs are brought together? In this latter paragraph he is
quite unmistakable. lie means willingness to alter the Consti-
tution, and make it unalterable, binding the North to perpet-
ual support of slavery in the States. Now, interpreting the
former paragraph by this, does that mean to declare the Con-
stitution, as it now reads, a "cunning and insincere compact of
"pacification," needing the Senator's proposed alteration for
the benefit of slavery? If not, what does it mean? In what-
ever view, or with whichever interpretation, help him, if you
can, to escape the imputation of having been cunning and in-
sincere, when he uttered the former paragraph. The same im-
putation attaches to a great part of the performance — ]3articu-
larly his conjuring of difficulties to hinder the wheels and make
them drag when the machinery is to move for freedom ; and
his resources and alacrity with lubricating oil, when it is to go
The cool effrontery with which it is for the ten-thousandth
time asserted that the Constitution leaves slavery " exclusively"
in the " care" of the States where it exists, is an imposture not
to be submitted to. The sole and simple fact that I am now
appealing to the North to absolve themselves from care of slav-
ery, will subject me to the charge of disloyalty to the Constitu-
tion, from Seward and all his sympathizers. The property
votes constitute a balance of power bringing us into all man-
ner of servility in caring for slavery ; besides the direct pro-
visions making us its protectors. It is only because the Con-
stitution humbles the Senator himself into servility to Southern
dictation, that he makes such shameful admissions. There i3
in it pitiable lack of self-respect belonging to an upright man.
The modesty manifested in words is commendable, when he
discards the idea "that the Union is to be saved by anybody in
"particular;" and when he avows that "we must be content
" to lead when we can, and to follow when we cannot lead."
But whoever will carefully examine his speech at th« dinner of
the New England Society, at the Astor House, noticing his
high glee, his irrepressible good feeling, his unbounded joyoua-
ness, while hinting at an interview which had just taken place
between him and Thurlow Weed, during Weed's return from
Illinois, where he had been negotiating the Premiership for
Seward, — observing with what perfect confidence Seward spoke
of what could now be done in about sixty days, to save the
Union, — his utter unconcern as to any dangerous condition of
the machinery, — his cool and quiet assurance that it only
needed a skillful " engineer to look into the engine and see
" where the gudgeon is worn out, and see that the main wheel
"is kept in motion;" and then the heralding, some days in
advance, of his speech in the Senate, to be looked forward to a3
salvation in store for the Union — an utterance beforehand from
the mouth that is to give utterance for the incoming adminis-
tration ; and finally the speech itself throughout, so exactly in
accordance with all this that had gone before — winding up
with his proposal to have the Constitution altered and made
unalterable, for the benefit of slavery — having previously put in
his proposal to have two railroads across the Rocky Mountains ;
I say, whoever will carefully put all this together, may see
plainly enough who it is Wm. H. Seward intends shall be chief
engineer for eight years to come, including conductorship for
the latter half of the term.
" Has the Federal Government become tyrannical or oppressive, or even rigor-
" ous or unsound? Has the Constitution lost its spirit, and all at once collapsed
" into a lifeless letter? No; the Federal Government smiles more benignantly,
'* and works to-day more beneficently than ever."
Under all the attending circumstances, who else could say
this but an arch traitor to freedom, poising himself compla-
cently, with bribes in one pocket received, and bribes in the
other pocket to be imparted — the bargain and arrangement
already made and consummated — only a little time being neces-
sary to get along with it, for the sake of appearances? In his
Astor House speech, he only wanted time to " mollify passions
"and prejudices" — passions and prejudices that had been crea-
ted by the election of Lincoln. It is fair to interpret what he
then said in the Astor House, by what he was now sajnog and
doing in the Senate — surrendering, selling out the North to the
South. How else were the passions and prejudices of the South
to be mollified? In this way he knew they could be molli-
fied. In this way he was mollifying them. Hence his compla-
cency. When and where others saw impending storm, all to
him was fair weather. " The Federal Government was smiling
more benignantly and working more beneficently than ever."
At that very moment, when this astounding falsehood was fall-
ing from his lips, treason was rampant at the Federal capital,
and raging the whole length of the Southern coast; and had
been, for several days. Senators then standing on the floor
with him, together with the President and a part of his cabinet,
would have been in irons, or in halters, before that time, if
there had been any Federal Government in existence. Thero
was no such government in existence. There is no such gov-
ernment in existence. There will be no such government in ex-
istence, while slavery exists and the Union exists. South Car-
olina reigns, and will reign, while the counsels of such concilia-
tors of traitors are listened to. The mockery, under the name
of Federal Government, is only a bought-up mob, to assassinate
philanthropists and intimidate all the friends of freedom.
Stripes and 3tars arc humbug. The rattlesnake is the reality
that has charmed Premier Seward, [read, in his Astor House
speech, his love for the people who have lifted up this ensign,]
and through him the dupes of his policy. He is not the first
magician who has " lifted up a serpent" to charm the people.
[Thus much more for taste, under the teachings and tendencies
of sacred literature.] Unmask the monster, then. Down with
the stripes and the stars; and let the serpent be seen on the
Federal capitol. For it is surely there, while Wm. H. Seward,
" The false dissembler unperceiv'd,"
the traitor of all the traitors, holds sway. In the prostitute hands
of this "arch enemy," the folds of the fascinating old emblem
are used to hide the proportions of the venomous reptile, thus
made more deadly dangerous.
Once more :
" Republicanism is subordinate to Union, as ererything else is and ought to
'• be — Republicanism, Democracy, every other political name and thing; all are
" subordinate — and they ought to disappear in the presence of the great question
" of Union. So far as I am concerned, it shall be so."
Here it is all out. This goes with the rest and finishes up.
Kepublicanism, in the hands of Wm. H. Seward, is to be sold for
Southern favor; and with it "everything else." Much noise
has been made, for many years past, at great expense of time,
money, morals and intellect, to drum up a party to displace
Democracy, so slyling itself — a thing alleged, by the rising
party, to be a political engine in the service of slavery. But
as soon as their mockery of what should be the sublime, sacred
work of voting is done, making Abraham Lincoln conductor,
and Wm. H. Seward engineer, the engineer declares at once
that, so far as he is concerned, the machine shall have the
gudgeons fixed up, new pins put in, a perpetual motion attach-
ment provided, and thus be made to " go on stronger than ever,"
and all in the same service.
When be says " everything is to be subordinate to Union," it
might, by straining a little, be brought under the definition of
one of Hugh Blair's tropes, which he calls synecdoche — the
whole being put for a part. He don't mean what he says.
He's "cunning and insincere" again, just as he has been all
the while throughout. He means only that such inconsequen-
tial things as " life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and
other like "abstract questions," are to be subordinate. Of
course he don't mean the all-important, all-absorbing matter of
slavery. That is exactly equal to the Union ; and the Union is
exactly equal to that. They are identical, in interest, in prin-
ciple, in value. Seriously — there is not the slightest intimation,
from the beginning to the end of this advance-premier-perform-
ance, that slavery is to be in the least subordinate to the Union,
any more than that the Union is to be subordinate to slavery.
In fact, when we go back, and go over his work, it appears,
on the whole, that the Union is to be subordinate to slavery.
"When he had said, "everything else is to be subordinate to
" the Union," if he tad gone on through, and spoken sincerely
all his sentiment, he would have added, "and the Union subor-
" dinate to slavery." Certainly he would. Because he made
the Union to be the "guarantee" against the rising, uncom-
promi-ing hostility to slavery which is pervading the world.
Slavery first, Union next, everything else afterwards. Life,
liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and all their concomitants,
are to be subordinate to the Union, and the Union subordinate
to slavery. Such is the programme marked out by this sage
statesman, this mild, modest man, for eight years to come.
" The different forms of labor, if slavery were not perverted to purposes of
" political ambition, need not constitute an element of strife in the Confederacy."
So, all there is of this difficulty between the North and the
South is only a "perversion of slavery to the purposes of polit-
ical ambition." Slavery unperverted — the genuine article — is no
bad thing at all — "constitutes no element of strife." A "form
"of labor," in which the laborers are owned by the capitalist;
are his "money;" are to be bartered as bank-stock — sold at
auction ; are not known in law as conjugal companions, as par-
ents or children ; have no protection of law for limb, life or
chastity ; can never, during their whole lives, for a moment, be
in possession of themselves — do one single act as their own, for
themselves, self-directed, self-controlled, — but all under the
bidding of others; forbidden letters, forbidden intellectual cul-
ture, forbidden speech, forbidden testimony; herded like cattle
and swine, and liko those animals used to breed for the benefit
of their proprietors : — a " form of labor" that educates the em-
ployers thus to treat the employed, — and furthermore, to treat
all other laborers as much as possible in subserviency to these
conditions, — requiring Northern laborers to bo sentinels and,
life-guards for the Southern proprietors, with muskets and bay-
onets at the breasts of their fellow victims, and cowhides and
clubs over their own dishonored heads: — all this, and this not
half the description of it all, "constitutes no element of strife,"
in the estimation of Wm. H. Seward, who sometime talked of an
" irrepressible conflict." Can it be possible that any consider-
able number can have been so blinded and dementated by the
back-and-forth magic-manipulations of this juggler, as not to
perceive that his is the "perversion to purposes of political am-
" bition ' — and that the perversion consists in an effort, with
" cunning and insincerity," to make slavery acceptable to free-
men, and to reduce freemen to the most despicable slavery?
Over and above the wrong and ruin of slavery to its imme-
diate victims, it is crime enough and curse enough, considered
only in its effects in demoralizing and brutalizing the slave-
holders, — not only the slaveholders proper, with chain and
whip in hand, but their aids, from lowest to highest of them —
from ignorant foreigners as well as ignorant natives, taught to
speak and spell negro with two g's, to Wm. H. Seward, who
teaches that the " difference" between the condition of slaves
North and slaves South is not worth having any "strife" about,
la it that he is pouring contempt on labor North, putting it
down so very near on a level with labor South ; or is it that ho
is outraging truth and decency, in an endeavor to dignify the
"form of labor" South, with a view to convincing laborers
North that such are the conditions they are worthy to be in so
very near proximity with — to be so closely associated with — to
be so positively identified with ? Whether it be this or that,
he stands equally condemned — equally the demoralized, brutal-
ized subject of the system. Whether he will do the part of the
perjurer, in betraying and thrusting down the laborer North
to the condition of the laborer South, or the part of the auda-
cious liar, in denying that the laborers South are in a condition
that laborers North would sooner spill their last drop of blood
than submit to — whether he will degrade free-labor by dignify-
ing slave-labor, or dignify slave-labor by degrading free labor —
he is equally the enemy of the interests of freemen — has treated
free laborers with insufferable indignity.
How long will society, styling itself intelligent, suffering
itself to be flattered with the idea that it is self-governing, sub-
mit to such masters, who have nothing to do but to govern for
their own aggrandizement? The work done at Washington is
the work of aspirants for power. Their ciy is Union. Their
watchword is Union. Their sorcery is Union. With Seward
in the centre, Hale on one side, Wigfall on the other, Douglas
on both sides, and Mason marching around, their bedlam shout,
their infernal chorus, is Union. Yes, to complete his work of
sorcery, Seward, the prince of sorcerers, has finally succeeded
in getting John P. Hale to play second fiddle to the tune that
the Union " shall preserve the literature, the learning, the lib-
erty, and the religion of the land" — altogether an alliteration
worthy of better accompaniments in the use of English — sacri-
ficing to sound not only common sense but moral sense. Such
"literature" — such "learning" — such "liberty" — such "relig-
ion" — why, this string of words, thus strung together, in such
a connection of circumstances, is a text for a sermon that would
make a volume bigger than the Christian Bible — and infinitely
more instructive. They have, every one of them, from the least
to the greatest of them, who have touched that point, shown that
the Union is the protector and propagator of slavery. They
all know that, but for the Union, slavery would long ago have
been extinct in this nation. During the last presidential can-
vass, all tho Eepublican papers that were worth anything for
the promotion of intelligence, demonstrated beyond dispute,
that a national polity promotive of slavery is destructive of the
interests of free laborers. That the tendency is to put the
laborers in the power of the capitalists. To make capital to own
labor. These arrant hypocrites, now that they have secured
the power in their own hands, turn square about and tell the
South it all meant nothing. They were then talking to get
votes. Talking to the North to get power to serve the South
with. They were thon on a platform to make a President and
a porty — and all to servo the South with. They are now on
the Constitution, with their President and their party, ready to
serve the South better than they have ever been served before.
They propose changing the Constitution from being an unmean-
ing, changeable, "cunning and insincere compact of pacification,"
into an unchangeable certainty to serve slavery with. Union,
on this Constitution, is the only "guarantee against the devel-
" opment of the fearful and uncompromising hostility to slav-
" ery." The Union that has given slavery the Presidents two-
thirds of the time the Federal Government has been in exist-
ence, Northern Presidents with Southern principles nearly all
the rest of the time, and the control of the national policy, at
home and abroad, all the time, is hereafter to be devoted to
slavery more exclusively, quite unequivocally, and perpetually.
Let laborers learn a lesson from the treatment of the raw re-
cruits at Borodino, where the dealer in the destinies of men
moved the human mass up to the mouths of cannons, until the
gulf was filled and bridged with dead bodies, for the living to
pass over on and get glory and honor to the name of the mover.
Whether of the two merciless monsters is the more execrable,
the slayer of one generation, or the enslaver of many ? All the
circumstances considered, there is nothing in the history of hu-
man treachery, to equal the atrociousness of the doings now in
progress at Washington, under the leadership of Wm. H. Sew-
ard and company. Gods, are there, with thunderbolts, to dash
undoers and desolaters in pieces? Credat Judceus Apella !
Charles Francis Adams is "following in the footsteps of his
" illustrious predecessor," Daniel Webster. Let him come to a
like political fate. Webster would not vote for the Wilmot
proviso, and exclude slavery from territory belonging to free-
dom, because it would be "re-enacting a law of God." It
was a dodge. It was a trick. It was a cheat. It was one of
Webster's " masterly" displays of words, under which to hide
himself in a cowardly compromise. What act of his life could
he not have excused himself from, under the same pretext?
Adams proposes a compromise measure that, at best, would in-
augurate another Kansas strife. Does he intend to have slav-
ery there? — then he cheats the North. Does he intend to have
freedom there? — then he cheats tho South. Does he intend
neither, but only to delude for the present, and give a chance
for war? Then the honesty, the humanity, and the statesman-
ship are not worthy a son of John Quincy Adams.
I know a farmer who employs a large number of foreigners,
treats them generously and pays them promptly. Being him-
self a hard-working man, and of a sanguine and nervous tem-
perament, he sometimes gets provoked by them ; and when his
patience is " clean gone" he occasionally swears at them. Not
Bpeaking German himself, he generally keeps one who can in-
terpret. On one occasion, a " green one" — at least affecting to
be such — who had had his duty plainly pointed out to him, was
very provokingly remiss. It was not the first offense — nor the
second. The employer looked daggers at him and called out to
the interpreter : "Here, Fred., swear at this fellow ! " Where-
upon, Fred. " turned in" and gave the delinquent his deeerts,
in kind, as directed.
Being myself without a god to swear by, if I had the least
faith in swearing, I should be tempted to pray the Christiana,
as many of them as are not in this compromising iniquity, to
swear at all the compromisers.
Earnestly, sincerely, so deeply does my indignation burn
against them, for their grievous derelictions, I could desire the
voice of a trumpet and the wings of the wind, that I might ad-
jure the people to drive, to hurl the rascals from their places,
and put them under penance. Put them on better behavior.
Give them no more employment where they can do so much
harm. Send them to the fields and the work-shops j the
scientific lecture rooms and laboratories. Set them to cultivat-
ing fruits and flowers. Put them to some innocent and useful
occupation. Make them earn their bread. At least, keep them
from being mischievous and pernicious. If this cannot be other-
wise done, put the gamblers, the swindlers, the pirates, in the
penitentiary. If the felons that fill our Federal capitol, our
State capitols, our court-houses and our pulpits, were in the
places of those who fill our penitentiaries and jails, one-fourth
of the money squandered to produce the present conditions,
expended judiciously and humanely in feeding, clothing and
educating thoso now confined, would secure a better state of
They who say, " no compromise," and yat say, "the Union,
the Constitution and the laws," as they are, are in a paradox,
an absurdity, a self-contradiction and self-overthrow. The
Consiitution itself, on which the Union is built, is a fatal com-
promise. The organic law is self-conflicting, self-subversive.
Freedom builds on intelligence. Slavery builds on ignorance.
The elements are antipathies. The polities are antagonisms.
They travel in opposite directions. They go wider and wider
apart. We have got along thus far by yielding to slavery the
right to frame the Constitution and dictate the national policy;
by yielding everything to slavery on demand. Freedom has
acted by permission — has accepted of privileges. It is yet to
be known whether it is to act of right.
The Constitution and the Union are as impotent for freedom,
as the New Testament and Christian ecclesiastical leagues are
for salvation. Both and all are prolific of all but peace and
good-will. Both and all are breeders of bloody-mindedness,
brutality, anarchy and assassination. Read their history and
their present doings. It is blood. It is butchering and burn-
ing alive — in times past and times present. It is not necessary
here, nor proper now, to go into past Christian history to sus-
tain my allegation. There is enough of what is going on now
to occupy our attention. A writer in the New York Tribune
states that two hundred and fifty persons have been murdered
on suspicion, in the single State of Texas, during the past pres-
idential campaign. While I have been writing this discourse,
an intelligent young man, who has been spending four years in
the South, and the latter part of the time in Texas, has stated
to me that the number murdered in Texas he believed to be
even greater than reported in the Tribune. He says their doings
are kept secret as much as possible. This also was said in the
Tribune. Take these statements with all the allowance we are
inclined to — and my feelings incline me strongly in that direc-
tion — still, when they are put with indisputable published facts,
as to outrages throughout the rest of the Southern States, who,
in contemplating them, will not be constrained to say, let us
have no more presidential campaigns under a Union producing
such fruits, of which we have been having more and more and
worse and worse? Senator Seward inquires to know if the
" Constitution has collapsed into a lifeless letter." Yes ; surely
it has. In letter it provides that "the citizens of each Stato
" shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens
" in the several States ; " and that " no person shall be deprived
" of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." In
regard to these wholesome provisions and vital elements, the
Constitution will be forever a lifeless letter, while there is
Union with slavery.
In vain the loving papers and the loving preachers " scold"
the North for loving slavery too little, and scold the South for
loving slavery too much. The compromising papers, like the
Cincinnati Commercial, scold Wendell Phillips for bcolding slav-
ery. The Commercial says Wendell Phillips has even been so
very wicked and irreverent as to call Premier Seward a liar
and a hypocrite. [Wendell Phillips better take warning from
the fate of the irreverent "little children," who said, " Go up,
" bald head ! "] The Commercial then turns and tells our South-
ern brethren they musn't be so naughty. It's carrying things
too far to choke, and strike, and thrust. President Buchanan
gets up a prayer-meeting, and Senator Seward a ball. [To a
friend at my elbow, the ball is too much like Nero's fiddling
when Eome was on fire.] Senator Seward says he loves South
Carolina. Well, may be be loves Vermont, too. But, seriously,
I tell him his arms are not long enough and strong enough
to embrace both and bring them together. All this wretched
trifling is worse than children's play.
There is argument for a Union — not for the Union, as it has
been, or is. It is the argument of sound political economy —
if it ean be ascertained what that is. It is the community argu-
ument. It is the family argument. It is based on the facts
showing the economy, the utility, of uniting interests, as far as
they are unitable — as Caleb Cushing would say, " unifiable."
But Caleb Cushing will have to do more and better than he
has yet done at inventing and multiplying words, to make his
" unification" work. The efforts of the Socialists at community
of interests, and their failure hitherto, should be a lesson to these
"unifiers," of the Caleb Cushing sort. And the Communitists
never undertook the reconciliation of such conflicting elements.
They never thought of undertaking to reconcile fraud and fair
dealing — labor and idleness — cultivating for the production of
ignorance, and cultivating for the production of intelligence.
Here are antagonisms that can never be reconciled — contra-
rieties that ean never be brought into coalescence. The free-
labor system calls for making the laborer intelligent. The
slave-labor system calls for making the laborer ignorant. It
keeps him in ignorance, that it may rob him of the fruits of
his labor j and it robs him of the fruits of his labor, that it may
keep him in ignorance.
Slavery seems as necessary, at the present time, to American
politics, as a devil to the New-Testament religion. Without
these bones to gnaw, the hungry politicians and priests are
fearful of being left to starve. How long are these light-
fingered gentry to carry on their confidence-games, under
license? With what propriety do vve outlaw the dealers in
dimes, because they are poor scamps and vulgar, and legalize
the doingg of the dealers in dollars, because they are rich and
refined [?] ?
Henry Ward Beecher is showing himself a most masterly
player at these games. He has more words to victimize with
than any other gamester, political or religious. He can hum-
bug a higher order of intellect. Can by sheer jugglery, move
more money out of the pockets of others into his own — enrich-
ing himself by denouncing others for devoting themselves to
riches, Make a more successful business of begging, by defam-
ing beggars. A more effective use of knowledge in the work
of keeping others in ignorance. Can degrade from a higher
position. Manipulate with more of magnetic power. Take
into his use more positive and effective mediums. Can subject
and control a more elevated grade of sorviles. Can work a
more intelligent gang of slaves. He is certainly entitled to
credit for boldness. Has shown himself comparatively brave,
on this subject of the Union. More brave than humane. His
courage is that of an officer under authority. He is in the ser-
vice of a master who sunk the steamer Arctic, with three hun-
dred persons on board, including promiscuous characters of
men, women and innocent children — foreigners as well as
Americans ; — and all to punish this nation for its greed of gain
and its sin of slavery. He loves and adores a god who will
accept for service at his hands the keeping of millions in igno-
rance and bondage for his god's glory. Says that if by turn-
ing his hand he could effect a successful emancipation of the
slaves of the South, and the work pass to the credit of men, he
would sooner hold those millions where they are, twenty-five
years longer, and have his god get the glory of the work.
What way he points out, or whether any, by which he would
have us expect his god to do it, has not come within my obser-
vation. I have to judge therefore from the specimen of his
#ork brought me in the drowning of the crew and passengers
of the Arctic, and his doings as recorded in a volume contain-
ing ample accounts of his destroying hosts of human beings,
from time to time, throughout thousands of years, for the honor
and glory of himself and his servants. Beecher trusts to the
providence of this ship-sinking god ; says virtually, that North-
ern adherence to the Union is the safety and perpetuation of
slavery; and yet counsels adherence. How are these things to
be put together? What must be thought of his sincerity? My
advice to him is, that he take counsel of humanity and warn-
ing of reliable human history. He may find a serious matter
of his responsibility, before the twenty-five years come around,
giving his god opportunity to glorify himself.
Beecher says the South are sinking the ship. Yet he would
keep them on board. What for? To sink the ship? He has
made the wrong comparisons. 'Tisn't the weight of copper;
nor the weight of carcasses. ' Tis the weight of sin. ' Tisn't the
ship going to Cleveland. ' Tis the ship going to Tarshish. His
other comparison is still worse — is ludicrous. It shows how
Beecher can blind and befool — using the noise of words to
knock sense out of the heads of his hearers. Those that Paul
would have " abide in the ship" that was taking him to Borne,
[Acts, ch. xxvii.,] were the " shipmen," the sailors, who were
about abandoning the ship to save themselves in the life-boat.
Beecher perverts. He represents Paul as making an appeal to
save the lives of those who were leaving the ship. Nothing of
the kind. It is " ye " — -not " they," that " cannot be saved." It
is an appeal to the centurion and the soldiers, to keep the sail-
ors aboard. When Paul saw the sailors stealthily letting down
their life-boat, he was alarmed. His faith, just then, when
something was to be done, was not in his god, but in sailors.
And his instinct instantly taught him whom to pray to. Dis-
trusting and abandoning his god, he turned at once to those
who had the saving power. Praying to the centurion and the
soldiers, he said: "Except these [escaping sailors] abide in
" the ship ye [centurion and soldiers] cannot be saved. Then
" the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat and let her fall off."
There was sound, practical sense in that prayer. Paul was
more sincere and earnest than Beecher. He didn't pretend to
be praying for the salvation of the seceding sailors, at the haz-
ard of all and everything else. In this regard, Beecher has
sunk himself to the bottom, between his two ships. His other
ship is saved by throwing overboard. "Every ton that goes
11 down, the ship goes up." " For every State you throw over,
"you will go up an inch." Yet he counsels keeping them on
board. If, with his god of providence at the helm, he had
brought out the ship going to Tarshish, with the sinner aboard
that didn't belong there, and that must be cast overboard for
the salvation of the righteous; and if he had gone through the
statement without perversion; he might at least have shown
himself sincere. But it is like all the rest of the Union stuff;
it can't hold together. It goes to pieces. The client is worthy
of the lawyer ; and the lawyer is worthy of the client. He
says they are wolves, living on lambs; yet would not have
them go away and devour each other, but stay and live on
lambs. He values the Union at nothing for the North — noth-
ing for the enslaved millions. But he wants it preserved for
the benefit of the wolves and the ship-sinkers. This is a new
and revised edition of the old doctrine of saving sinners by
sacrificing the righteous. Could any one but Bcecher get ap-
plause from an intelligent audience, for such abominable hy-
pocrisy and monstrous inhumanity ? The work is worthy the
vicegerent of a god who takes thieves into his heaven of gold,
prepared for a "few," letting the multitude "go to hell."
Gods are the normal school teachers and trainers of traitors
and villains. Heavens are places for pardoned thieves, pirates,
plunderers and murderers; hells are places for unpardoned
moralists, who rely for salvation on speaking the truth and
doing the right; otherwise there is no truth in the most pop-
ular pulpit preaching and stump speaking. Thieves and mur-
derers go straight into the embraces of gods, without any
pains of pugatory. Let all honest men beware of gods. Gods
keep men in ignorance, deprive them of their reason — make
them " mad"— for the sake of taking advantage of them and
killing them in their own way and getting glory out of it.
That is the business gods have with men ; and the business
men have with gods. John Brown was an honest man, and lost
bis life by trusting in a god. The god that betrayed John
Brown was the same, or son, or some other blood relative of
the same, that betrayed Judah, during two days, into the hands
of Benjamin, and the third day betrayed Benjamin into the
hands of Judah, getting glory out of the slaughter of score upon
score of thousands. [See Judges, ch.xix., xx., xxi.] Beecher's
god is the same stock. It is bad stock. They have been a
treacherous race from the beginning. They "repent" of their
"good" works of creation, and glory in their bad works of
destruction. They delight in sacrificing the innocent for the
benefit of the guilty. They reject and contemn the moral acts
of good men for the purposes of human salvation. For gods
to accept such acts would be to forego their own greed of
blood and glory. They are most in their glory when they are
It is an ominous coincidence of things, that simultaneously
with the move to put the perpetuation of slavery into the Con-
stitution, there is a move from various quarters to put in a god.
They belong together. And both belong out of anything for
human good. If the one goes in, it will hardly pay to make
an effort to keep the other out. If both get in, then welcome
retrogression, and "let chaos come again." They who are to
survive such a wreck as will be sure sometime to follow, may
prepare to swim through seas of blood.
As I said of Greeley and the Tribune, Beecher has been no-
ticed because he is worth noticing. Such as Nehemiah Adams,
otherwise " South-side Adams," are not worth the ink.
After all the Daily Cincinnati Commercial has brought to my
attention, in its labors for the salvation of the Union, it mustn't
be passed by in such neglect as not to have some further notice.
The Commercial, of Dec. 27, says:
" The Union is the only cement which secures the institution •/* slavery. The
" Union lends the moral and material power of this great Republic, to save it
" from interference in the States where it exists by law. The Union guards the
" fireside of the slaveholder, and the frontier of the planter; the Union puts
"' down servile insurrection, and returns the slave to his master. It is the Union
" that gives protection to the sugar product of the South, to the amount of mil-
" lions annually. It is the Union, and the respect which it compels abroad, that
" saves American slavery from the universal frown of Christendom."
"I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word." " Now, infidel
" I have thee on the hip." If any Anti-Slavery man, had sent
those expressions, just as they are, to the Commercial, the act
would have been treated as in the highest degree unpatriotic
and disloyal. It don't matter that it was the compromising
Commercial's appeal to the sordid interests of the slaveholder.
Is it true? I Bay it is true; and that it sustains me in the
strongest position I have taken. Numerous other passnges
might he cited from the Commercial, to the same effect. But
this is sufficient.
If the Commercial had said nothing in connection with the
matter, more unwholesome than the foregoing, I might stop
here. But it has done things more reprehensible. An editorial
for Dec. 14, closes thus :
" We see no insuperable difficulty in the way of compromising all difficulties
" between the North and the South, to the satisfaction of all who are not the ene-
" mies of the Union and the Constitution. Those who shall prove themselves
" such enemies, whoever they may be, and wherever found, must be put down,
" morally and politically . And a clinching compromise, which we of the North
" might, in a neighborly spirit and manner, offer readily or accept without he»i-
" tation, would be an tinder standing that each section would keep its own extrem-
" tits out of mischief."
The expression — " must be put down morally" — savors quite
too much of unscrupulousness, as to measures. Who are "ex-
tremists?" Will the Commerciat undertake the responsibility'
of saying that those it would designate as such are not in gen-
eral honest men? And how are honest men to be "put down
" morally?" How but by malicious detraction — moral assassin-
ation ? They who will countenance and encourage mobbing
down speech, will next resort to defamation ; will make mali-
cious thrusts at character in the dark; and will by all the ways
and means in their control create darkness to cover their evil
The Commercial administers wholesome rebuke to Thomas
Corwin, for his "unwarranted assumption" and "intolerable
" intermeddling," recently, as touching the liberty of the press.
But what of speech ? The Commercial of Dec. 4, says of a mob
in Boston :
" We do not propose to feel very sorry because the John Brownites were kicked
"out; though the best plan would have been to let them alone joined to their
" idol. A mob is deplorable, but it sometimes stumbles upon substantial justice-
" If there could be a mob down in Charleston, big enough to clean out the seces-
" sionists pretty effectually, the influence of the operation, combined with that of
" the mob in Boston, might be rather wholesome than otherwise."
Here is one of the attempts at creating darkness for the pur-
poses of moral assassination. They who commit piracy and
they who protest against piracy, are made equally reprehen-
sible, and together handed over to the mob These are the
moral instincts and inculcations of a paper boasting a daily cir-
culation of about twenty thousand — a circulation unequaled by
any other western paper .
A mob to "put down" interests the Commercial would have
identity or sympathy with, would be "deplorable," of course.
But a mob to "put down extremists" would be "substantial
"justice." The Boston mob was precisely the same outrage
upon human rights, as if the people of the country around Cin-
cinnati had walked in and displaced the Compromise meeting
in Pike's Opera, and passed resolutions to the contrary of what
were passed. The Boston mob didn't wait to hear or know
what was to be said or done, bad or good. It prevented the Anti-
Slavery meeting — displaced it, and made itself into a slavery
meeiing in its stead. Pugh talks about plowshares. If cities
don't want plowshares to run, and grass to grow, where their
piles of brick and mortar rest, and where they heap up ill-
gotten gain, they better not countenance mobs.
The boasted freedom of the political and religious press, is
the freedom of the pulpit and of the plantation. It is free-
dom to intimidate and to be intimidated. Freedom to sophisti-
cate. Freedom to deprave. Freedom to keep knowledge away
from those it is desirable to cheat. Freedom to make their
dupes look upon and treat as their enemies those who proffer
them redeeming knowledge. Freedom to make their victims
believe that ignorance is better for them than intelligence —
that it is better for them to have others know for them, than to
know for themselves. Freedom to teach that there is no other
virtue like obedience to authority; and that the highest au-
thority is self-contradicting, self-neutralizing old parchment;
and a thousand times self-contradicting, self-neutralizing older
paper; that it is for the majority to be ruled — for the minority
to rule. Freedom to justify unrighteousness, and condemn jus-
tice. Freedom to instigate mobbing down speech in the North,
and murdering it down in the South.
All this results from Union with a system that makes labor
disreputable, and cheating reputable — that makes it honorable,
professional business to preach and publish falsehood, to keep
knowledge from the producers, that the consumers may have
advantage of them. They who have to get on, by such base
advantages, are moral bankrupts. They ean't pay their debts
to humanity in currency. They are counterfeiters. They haven't
the genuine coin.
The struggle of the hour is between brute force and reason ;
between suppression and speech ; between religion and right-
eousness; between money and humanity ; between misanthropy
and philanthropy; between ignorance and intelligence; be-
tween restraint and development. On the one side in the array
are the priests and the politicians, in behalf of the consumers.
On the other side, in behalf of the producers, are a scattering
few, whose works of sympathy, fortitude and fidelity, have re-
ceived opprobrious names, to be used against them for the want
of better weapons.
All will agree, in words, that what cannot bear to be thought
of and spoken of, is fit to be out of the way. But this profes-
sion, in the mouths of priests and politicians, is utterly decep-
tive — is made use of to delude and cheat. They don't intend
to practice what they profess — nor to allow it to be practiced.
Free thought and free speech they hate and treat as their most
deadly enemy. They suffer it only so far as they must. They
prevent it by all the brute force in their control ; and they take
into their control all of this element they can. They conspire
together against the liberties of the laborers. They put them
under authority with force and arms. They deal with them as
with dumb beasts. Religion and politics can't bear free speech.
They never did. They never will. Free speech would put them
both away. That is the reason why they war upon free speech.
Let a layman have the right to stand up before the pulpit, in
the midst of the congregation, and speak ten minutes, as often
as a priest speaks six times ten, and churches would be con-
verted into school-houses in no time. Let the faithful advo-
cates of freedom have a chance in five, in compromise-meet-
ings, and our state and national halls of legislation, together
with our court houses, would be turned into halls of science
and galleries of art and music. Moreover, our jails and peni-
tentiaries would become workshops for honest free laborers.
Priests and politicians would have to turn teachers of science
and art, or go into the classes and ranks, in the halls, the work-
shops and the fields.
Free speech would at once disarm the despots of this na-
tion, North as well as South, and fill the land with freedom,
peace, plenty and prosperity. What do the people quarrel
about — wrangle about — fight about — squander their time and
earnings about ? Politics and religion — religion and politics. This
is the rule. All else is the exception. It is the policy of the
plotting priesis and politicians to have it so. It is their bread.
It is their exemption from honest, self-sustaining labor. Free
speech would soon show them how to employ themselves more
legitimately. At least it would show the people how to dis-
pense with the treatment.
It is time to have something done for self-respect — to aid, if
possible, in looking danger in the face. The groat need now
is to know where the danger lies. The greatest danger lie3 in
lack of this knowledge — knowledge of what the real danger is.
The prevailing alarms are false. The truth, as to the real dan-
ger, is hidden, intentionally by some of the alarmists, unwit-
tingly by others. The alarm that has been cried tip and kept
up has been the work of rogues and rascals, and their dupes.
The object of it, at the bottom, has been, to fabricate and fur-
nish excuse for further compromise. After all that was said for
show of sacred devotion to freedom, in the battle of words for
place and pay, it would not quite do, the moment that farce was
played out, to turn square around at once, and yield everything
to satisfy the insatiate, without affecting to fear something
" very terrible," to come to the majority from the minority, if
they did not now, as heretofore, after having the words for
freedom, have the deeds for slavery. But this is al! there baa
been of it, among the leaders playing the compromise-game,
North and South. Of course it will be denied. The North
will deny having been so shamefully imposed upon and so
deeply disgraced ; and the South will deny that they have only
been at their old trick, with more than wonted desperation.
But time will tell the truth, and expose the falsehood, disgrace,
and faithlessness. As many at the North as have helped on
tho alarm, or been alarmed, at the doings of the South, will yet
have the reflection cf dupes or of impostors. Tho more ignorant
will be made to believe we have escaped very narrowly, an aw-
ful calamity. But the calamity will be found to have been,
and to be, that the three hundred thousand have been suffered
to put additional chains on the thirty millions.
The newspaper press in general has been serving the people
in this matter as the doctors serve their patients. The doctors
alarm their patients to get in calomel and get out blood, until
they are permanently, irrecoverably diseased ; and then they
have them in a condition to make them believe they have
escaped barely with their lives. And so they have. But what
have they escaped? Why, worse treatment. That's all. —
Thankful that they have a few ounces of blood left in, and a
few grains of calomel left out. Thankful, the people are bound
to be, to newspaper publishers, priests, lawyers and doctors,
that their brains are not entirely neutralized and paralyzed.
No State of the South could be kicked out of the Union,
and kept out. The secessionists are resolute, desperate, crafty
gamesters. That is all. They know whom they are playing
with. They have played the same game before, often, with the
same antagonists; and have always won. They are in a con-
dition to have nothing to fear — everything to hope; nothing
to lose — everything to gain — from playing a desperate game.
Their object is not to have less of Union, but more of it. They
didn't need to be told by the Cincinnati Commercial, Senator
Seward, and other Northern sympathizers, that the Union is
their only safeguard. They were only afraid it would fail
them. What they wanted was renewal of the bond and addi-
tional security; and they are getting it. They knew no other
way to get it. It was this or nothing. They have shown them-
selves equal to their desperate undertaking. Their jdupe3 are
more deeply degraded. Their victims are more hopelessly
They have been encouraged to these steps by seeing that in-
tegrity has been failing in the popular press, and in all depart-
ments of the Federal Government, legislative, judicial and ex-
ecutive. When Texas was admitted, there was virtue enough
in the press to make a sturdier protest against the slavery
clause of its constitution being unalterable, than has yet ap-
peared against Senator Seward's proposal to alter the Federal
Constitution in favor of slavery, and make it unalterable.
When John Qaincy Adams was alive and in Congress, as often
as Southern men feigned inclination to leave, for the purpose
of being hired to stay on worso terms, they were promptly
told that the North was more ready for separation than the
South could be. He told them, moreover, that if the bargain
were to be made over again, they couldn't get a property rep-
resentation, and guarantee for protection against insurrection.
When Marshall was alive and on the bench, we could not have
had a Dred Scott decision. When Jackson was alive and in
the chair, or either of his predecessors, we couldn't have had
such executive corruption as has been manifested more and
more in his successors, until it has finally ended in treason.
Our press and our Congress have so far degenerated, we have
now proposals from the North to change the Constitution and
make it unalterable, perpetuating the property representation,
the guarantee of protection against domestic violence; and add-
ing facilities for kidnapping at large. The South have seen the
degeneracy going on, and have taken advantage of it. They
have seen that the more they have demanded the more they
have obtained — that the more their insolence and imperiousness
the more the Northern pusillanimity and submissiveness. All
they have had to do has been to add to the bluster in words ;
because the North will bluster in words too, but will always
yield, when it comes time for decision. What the North have to
do is, to show themselves alarmed — some professedly, and some
really — to furnish an excuse to themselves and the world, for
their treachery to freedom and human rights.
This Union is like the Christian salvation — it is hell and de-
struction to the multitude. The heaven is for the "few,"
whose prerogative it is to
" Deal damnation round the land."
It is said of Governor Butler, of Yermont, a small man in
stature, with a piercing black eye, beaming forth intelligence
from under a majestic brow, that he once, alone, mot a bear in
the woods. The man stood firmly, looked uncompromisingly
and persistently into the face of the ferocious animal, manifest-
ing inclination to advance rather than to recede. The bear was
out of countenance, overpowered by virtue of intelligence, and
retired from the unequal encounter. If the man had under-
taken a compromise, blanching and backing down a little, he
would have got himself into an unpleasant predicament, with-
oat doubt. If he had turned his eyes to Hercules, Jupiter, or
Jehovah, he would have been in a " fix," before any one of those
celebrities could have reached him ; and from which it would
have been difficult for all of them together to relieve him. The
ferocious bipeds, in our Washington bear garden and Southern
menageries, are to be overcome by the same power and process
used by Ezra Butler against the quadruped.
There is counseling for peace that brings bloodshedding war.
There is war that prevents bloodshedding, and brings perma-
nent peace. Shall this prevail — or that? The time has come
The going to pieces of the corrupt church has been a harbinger of human free-
dom. The going to pieces of the corrupt state is another of these harbingers. In
the modern history of this nation, the dissolution of the Whig party was an aus-
picious event. The dissolution of the Democratic party was an event more aus-
picious. The dissolution of the Union is a " consummation devoutly to be wished."
If the Union is to be patched up again, it will be the work of politicians, for their
own private purposes — never the work of intelligent, liberty-loving men, self-
moved — never.
Let the North be separated from the South, and have " a republican form of
Let the inspiration be of freedom — not of slavery.
Let intelligence govern — not money.
Let not the government have power to use patronage for corruption.
Let offices and officers be created by the people — not by officers.
So of salaries — let them be appointed by the people — not by the receivers of
Let there be generous use of money ; but let it be to make men virtuous — not
Let the people provide for their own enlightenment and elevation — and not
make it for the interests and leave it in the power of rulers to cheat them into ig-
norance and degradation.
Let union be for peace — not war — at home and abroad.
The power that is coveted, to be attained by extending empire and centralizing
and consolidating government, is dangerous power. Let not the people be flat-
tered with the idea that it is their power. It is power for their enslavement. It
is the power of politic popes and perjured pirates. There is no safe power — power
for salutary purposes — except in intelligence — intelligence of the masses — such
intelligence of the masses as will keep them from being employed by masters, to
murder each other for their masters' gratification and aggrandizement. Let the
people refuse to fight for the gratification of demagogues. Let them accept no
policy that will require working men to point bayonets at the breasts of working
men, for the aggrandizement of ambitious scoundrels. Let the aspirants for illegit-
imate power do their owi fighting.
Let ug have a constitution that shall not make it for the interests of its ex-
pounders, and laws that shall not induce their executors, to make themselves mis-
The defenders of Senator Seward, tell us he is playing a deep game, in which
it is necessary for him to make himself misunderstood. The Washington corres-
pondent of the New York Post says :
" From his position, Mr. Seward has naturally been better informed, perhaps,
" than any other man of his party in Washington. But he could not impart his
" knowledge; he was obliged to permit himself to be misunderstood; he even de-
" sired, no doubt, in many instances, to be misunderstood. It best answered his
" purpose that motives different from his real ones should be assigned to him."
This is condemnation enough. Freedom and righteousness have no need of
such gamesters in their employ — need the benefit of no such games. Such are
not the men to be trusted. Somebody is to be cheated. Who is it? The North
needs no cheating in its favor — has no need of any mean or undue advantage of
the South. It can afford to treat the South justly, honorably, generously. But
the people of the North cannot afford longer to be sold-out, dishonored slaves,
for the benefit of the gamesters and their accomplices. To think of cheating
North and South, liberty and slavery, into reconciliation, is to think of cheating
natural elements — cheating light and darkness — cheating fire and water — cheating
love and hatred.
Let not the organic law be a fountain of corruption.
Let us have laws that shall not legalize lawlessness in high places.
Laws that shall not be creative of demagogues to make tools of the people;
and of sharks to devour them.
Laws that shall induce the makers and executors of the laws to prevent crime —
not to instigate it, to get pay for suppressing it; not to create disease, to get pay
for a remedy.
Let producers vote, and otherwise act, with reference to providing for their own
enlightenment and qualification for self-representation — that they may not be, so
much as they always have been, misrepresented and mistreated by consumers.
Let us have laws that shall make it for the interests of our legislators to be
themselves intelligent and virtuous, and to promote intelligence and virtue among
It is a death-warrant for our present Constitution, that it dooms forty new-born
infants, hourly, to deprivation of all knowledge to be derived from letters and
books; and from honest, truthful, faithful speech; having already multiplied
seven hundred thousand ioto forty hundred thousand, in this condition.
It is cause for everlasting execration to fall on the head and the memory of
Wm. H. Seward, from all friends of freedom and humanity, that he volunteered
to take it on himself to move the nation to perpetuate this enormity. Lest the
Constitution, as it now reads, should bear a possible construction giving power to
abate this national inhumanity, he moves an alteration of the Constitution, to
prevent the possibility of the abatement, and to perpetuate the process. To do
this, it takes a monster who, to keep himself in countenance before the people
during the enactment, or to turn away attention from the act, or to make out a
consistent character for inhumanity and brutality, could get up a ball at twenty-
five thousand dollars expense, at the same time thousands of human beings in
Kansas are suffering from nakedness and hunger. All the circumstances consid-
ered, those other nocturnal rioters and mid-day profligates, his predecessors, Calig-
ula and Nero, the former of whom undertook to famish Rome, and the latter to
burn it, after murdering Lis own mother, were comparatively slight offenders
against human interests. It is an agonizing struggle, a close and doubtful con-
test, between freedom and slavery; it is a time to make one of the most momen-
tous decisions ever made in human government; to Wra. H. Seward is accordtd
more power than to any other man in the government of the United States— and
he is proudly conscious of possessing it — to turn the scale for inexpressible joy or
unutterable woe, to unborn millions; he betrays the entire and inevitable convic-
tion that, the light of his countenance withdrawn from slavery, and with bis the
backs of the rest of the North turned upon it,;it could not withstand the withering
frowns of the civilized world; — and he will turn the scale and fasten it against the
millions to be mu'tiplied during a hundred years to come. Leases of land some-
times run ninety-nine years. Weed puts over this matter, again compromised, to
an indefinite period, beyond this gtneration and the next. Seward, in his 12th of
January speech, shows his readiness to make the condition unalterable for a
"century." In fact, for all time to come. " Unalterable.' 1 ''
After showing his readiness now, at the expiration of three-quarters of a cen-
tury, to change for the worse, why, if he could live on, should he not be expected,
when his century comes around for another change, to make it worse still? At
the present time, in the beginning of the career of this merciless manipulator for
misery, moral darkness and death, more than forty children, every hour of the day
and every hour of the night, are born into his brutal hands, to have each an iron
compress fastened on its head, as fatally preventive of knowledge a3 the Chinese
shoe is of motion. Soon it will be sixty an hour; then a hundred; and onward.
In fifty years, the living numbers will be nine millions; in a hundred years twenty-
five millions; and in the mean time more than twice or thrice these then living
numbeis will have lived, suffered and died in these conditions. For the perpetra-
tor of such a perpetuation of such a process, what would it be additional to murder
his own mother and then fire a city ? Small matters — very small matters. There
is no word painting in these utterances. They are words of soberness, modera-
tion and significance.
Thomas Corwin has identified himself with the atrocious measure, and engin-
eered it through the House. It comes out, for the people to put in the Constitu-
tion, if they will, thus :
"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which shall authorize or
" give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the do-
" mestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by
" the laws of said State." •
The Cincinnati Daily Commercial says of it:
" This amendment was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of
" 133 to 65; and by the Senate, by a vote of 24' to 12. It would require the en-
" dorsement of three fourths of the States, through the Legislatures, before it
" could become a part of the Constitution. It was framed by Mr. Seward, and
" by him submitted to the select committee of Thirteen of the Senate, which was
'• raised to co-operate with the committee of Thirty-three in the House.
" Many persons are disposed to sneer at this amendment, and to call it an in-
" sufficient attempt at pacification, a mere matter of form, a cheat, etc., etc.
" We regard it as decidedly important, and of remarkable pertinence. Mr.
" Seward's design, in drawing it up, was to meet the persistent charge, made by
" Southern agitators, that the policy of the Republic.ui party would presently be
" avowedly the abolition of slavery in the States. The importance of this point
" becomes obvious to the country, when nearly half of the slave States withdrew
" their Representatives from Congress, and spurned the constitutional guarantees
*' of the peculiar interest of their section, while the other half manifested a dis-
" position to remain in the Union, and asked 'additional guarantees.' The
amendment proposed by Congress is an 'additional guarantee.' The Baltimore
American says of it:
" 'It removes one of the mist dreaded grievances of the South, and forbids
" Congress from ever abolishing or interfering with slavery in any of the States
" where it now exists. It was feared that the North would, when the Free States
" shall number three-fourths of the States of the Union, so alter and amend the
" Constitution as to give to Congress the power to abolish slavery in the States.
" This is prohibited by this amendment, and so far as it can be accomplished by
" Congress, the prohibition of interference is perpetual.'
" Mr. Lincoln says of it in his inaugural, that while he thinks the substance of
" this amendment is constitutional law, he has no objections to seeing it ' express
" 'and irrevocable.' The amendment should be immediately ratified by all the
" Legislatures in session."
No doubt these papers, sympathizing with Senator Seward in the measure, sec
it as it is, " an additional guarantee" to slavery, perpetuating Northern support
of it. It took a two-thirds vote to carry it; O".so it will be seen from the figures
that the property vote, with Senator Seward's help, has done its own work for
itself. This is the way the lew have always been lording it over the many in the
government of this nation. Are the people of the North prepared to throw away
their constitutional remedy, and perpetuate their responsibility for such a system —
denying to themselves the right of ever relieving themselves, or allowing, so far
as they can prevent, their children relieving themselves? Has their past experi-
ence in "eating the humiliation" made them so fond of it that they have come
to the conclusion it is their necessary food, more than meat and drink for them
and their children after them?
Let them know this is the turning point with them. Heretofore and hitherto
the plea has been that it was a bargain made by their predecessors in times of
seeming necessity. But bad as was the bargain, including that iniquitous prop-
erty vote, a constitutional remedy was provided. The right of amending the
Constitution and relieving themselves was reserved. And now, when the time
comes for altering the Constitution, if, instead of relieving themselves, they will
change it for the worse, perpetuating the servility and imposirg it on their chil-
dren, the monstrous act becomes their own. They have no longer any excuse.
President Lincoln, in his inaugural address, endorses his Premier, in this most
infamous work of abandonment and undoing, this highest treason against human-
ity, by saying: " I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."
Precisely as was to be expected when he suffered Thurlow Weed to impose Wm.
H. Seward on him for his leading constitutional adviser, after the tendencies Sew-
ard had disclosed in the Senate. If Abraham Lincoln had any head or heart of
his own to the contrary, he has been swindled by gamblers. At any rate, the
conductor is in the hands of the bribed, abandoned engineer. The captain, ship,
crew and cargo are in the control of the piratical pilot. In his speech, in response
to Mayor Wood, in New York, President Lincoln said: " As I understand it,. the
" ship is made for the carriage and preservation of the cargo." But pirates wiil
sacrifice their human cargo to save their ship and themselves. This is what his
pilot proposes doing. To save the Union, throw the millions overboard.
On his journey to Washington, while the people were listening with anxiety
to know what he could say to them in these troublous times, the President elect
told them all along it was for them to save the country. Well, how are they to
eave it? What are they to do? Why, they are to ratify the measure inaugurated
by his Premier, to satisfy slavery. Yes, standing up in the midst of that infatu-
ated, infuriated, dementated, demoralized, dehumanized, shouting congregation,
ready to go through the mock form of taking his Bible and kissing it, and his
Constitution and embracing it, he did not dare do otherwise than, at the bidding
of his Dictator, in the hands of dictators, " depart from his purpose," and first
of all swear to slavery, that he then and there called on the people to make that
"particular amendment'''' of the Constitution for slavery's benefit, and make it
" express and irrevocable." Since our earth has been inhabited by an order of
beings adapted- to deriving enjoyment from fidelity to enlightened conscience
and exalted humanity, did the sun ever shine on a scene so humiliating, so de-
Magnetized by his magician into a "departure from his purpose," this expres-
sion has meaning. All the rest, appearing to point in other directions, goes for
worse than nothing. All the rest is cant, jargon, jugglery. All the rest is hon-
eyed persuasion, to get the patient to take the opiate — the victim to swallow the
Did he, or dii he not, "blacken his soul with perjury? " His oath in advance
to slavery we understand. There is no question about that. But what did he
mean when he kissed the book? And what, when he put his hand on the parch-
ment? Did he mean the same then? If he says he did, then he tells us what he
understands to be the inspiration of that volume and that scroll. Such an honest
and frank avowal would open many blind eyes and unstop many deaf ears in the
N.-jrth. If he meant the contrary, then, here or there, there is perjury. Whether
it be this or that, here or there, there is " food for thought" in it, for those who
have the ability and the inclination to put as many as three thoughts together.
He sophisticates, Urging North and South to hold together, he asks: "Can
" aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more
" faithfully enforced between aliens than laws among friends? " The proposi-
tions are not truthfully stated. There is no foundation in facts for any such prop-
ositions. The " friends" are enemies. What is more, the enmity, the animosity,
arises from endeavoring to hold themselves in false positions, in unnatural rela-
tions. By declarations and by deeds the South have shown themselves ene-
mies — or words and deeds have no significance — outrage and murder arelove
To his questions, truthfully stated, the truthful answer is, yes — ye?. Where
interests are so utterly hostile as between the North and the South, " treaties can
" be more easily made" and "more faithfully enforced" than laws. The organic
law of our federal system — pre-eminently an enactment " not fit to be made" —
was ten-fold more difficult of construction than a treaty would have been. In
fact, it never was constructed so as to be a reality. It has only been a pretension.
It has only been faithfully enforced as an instrument for oppression — never for
freedom. Every wholesome provision in it has been practically a " lifeless letter,"
whenever and wherever it has contravened the interests of slavery. The Consti-
tution pretends to provide that there shall be "no law abridging the freedom of
" speech;" that "the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges
"and immunities of the citizens in the several States;" that " no person shall
" be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," "nor cruel
" and unjust punishments inflicted." President Lincoln knows that these essential
provisions have never been enforced in the South, and that they never will be en-
forced, as long as slavery exists; that the South have always trampled them under
feet, and always will, as a matter of necessity, while they maintain slavery. In full
possession of this knowledge, he bows still lower at their bidding, virtually licens-
ing them, so far as he is concerned, to do wor.-e. He don't expect them to do
better. He don't intend to enforce these vital requirements. He don't mean to
make the lives, the liberties, and the property of Northern men safe in the South —
for the simple and sufficient reason that he cannot — that there is no power in the
government to do it — that the government is in the hands of the South, and al-
ways has been, by virtue of the compromise and the property vote, made and
provided for in the " organic law." If he would be understood as pretending to
the contrary of this, when he emphasizes his words and says : •' to the extent of
" my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins on me,
" that the laws of the Union be faithfully axecuted in all the States," he com-
mits " wilful and corrupt perjury." All depends on "the extent of his ability;"
and the extent of his ability depends on the pleasure of slavery. His understand-
ing of the matter all the while is, that his lord is to pardon him while he bows
himself in the house of Rimmon.
To show that all his swearing and kissing, and all his kissing and swearing —
taking the inaudible words from the mouth of the superannuated old servant of
slavery, and pronouncing them with sounding pretension for himself — meant only
service to the South, fidelity to slavery, we have only to quote again, from near
the close :
" In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the mo-
" mentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You enn
" have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors."
They are already the aggressors, in numberless ways notorious ti.at need not
be specified. In what oiher words need he declare more explicitly that the Fed-
eral Government is entirely in the service of the South and their slavery? If
more be needed here it is :
u Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great
" and so universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding Federal
" offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people
" for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to
" enforce these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly
" impracticable withal, that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of
" such offices."
These passages explain what he meant by " the extent of his ability." It means
deference to Southern dictation, just as heretofore, only now "more so;" and as
much more still, hereafter, as they call for. It means, in fact and reality, that tha
talk about abiding by the Constitution and enforcing the laws, is all Fourth-of-
With all this, some of the Southern papers already express full satisfaction!
Others of them must of course make a show to the contrary, and threaten nar fa-
riously, till the dishonored, humbled North yield and put in the Constitutioa the
pledge of perpetual devotion to their service.
President Lincoln's faint and faltering question, in its connection, to know
whether "it might not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforce-
" ment of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that the citizens of
" each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in
" the several States," is a sufficient answer to his other question, as to the ease of
making laws compared with making treaties. It being guaranteed in the " organic
" law," if it cannot be enforced as such, what the use of re-enacti ig it? This
has always been the organic law, and never enforced. And he pledges himself
not to irritate the South with the enforcement of laws already in existence. It is
all insincerity, then, to talk about re-enacting the organic law, after promising not
to enforce laws alreadv in existence. He don't expect his faint allusion to the sub-
ject to be heeded; don't look for any such enactment to be attempted. What is
more, he knows that if any such sham enactment should be carried, at Washing-
ton, by the North, it never would be enforced by the Federal Government in the
South. He declares to them : " The Government will not assail you." And
this while they are already the " aggressors," in countless particulars, of enormous
magnitude — holding the reins now in their own hands. 'Tis all mockery. There
is no government, out of; their hands.
The allegation universal, North and South, among conservatives and radicals,
of President Lincoln's party, is, that the South have committed their aggressions
without cause. How then are they to be got along with in future, but by yielding
more and more to them continually, as has always been done? No — no. Laws
are not the things for such parties. Nothing less than separation and treaties will
give security to propery or life-
Brothers that quarrel, in family relations, better separate. When they cannot
be brothers and love each other, let them be neighbors and respect each other.
Let animosity cease. It is not true that separating brothers who quarrel makes
them more hateful and harmful toward each other. The contrary is true. If
there be any truth and propriety in the pretension that there is the least love left*
between the quarreling brothers, North and South, the way to increase that bro-
therly love is to stop quarreling and part in peace- If there be no brotherly love
left — if the wrangling and strife to maintain false relations have already destroyed
fraternal affection, so much the more will they be on better terms apart. The
President made up his inaugural quite too much of newspaper nonsense and sen-
atorial insolence — all of it mercenary — to the abnegation of his own common
sense, based on common observation.
He says :
" Physically speaking we cannot separate — cannot remove our respective sec-
" tions from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them."
Nonsense again. No such removal is necessary or desirable. No such wall is
necessary or desirable. What of our relations with Canada? And what has the
Atlantic ocean to do with peace or war between us and England? And what the
Rocky Mountains, between us and Utah? It is not a question of distance. It is
cot a, question of physical barriers. It ig a question of other relations, that oceans
and mountains cannot regalate nor adjust. In 1812, the ocean did not prevent
war with England. Previously we were connected with England. We quarreled
and separated. Are now on better terms, because in truer relations. But the
proposition is sufficiently refuted in the fore-going paragraph, and still more abun-
dantly elsewhere preceding.
He declares with special emphasis : " The Union is unbroken." This, in con-
nection with all the rest, is throwing the door wide open and inviting the traitors to
return and do their pleasure. The promise to alter the Constitution and give
slavery additional security, is offering them a bribe to come in and make still
further depredations, and rule the cowed majority with a higher hand. If this be
the Republicanism the people have been voting for — if it be the inauguration of
slavery on a newly built and more exalted throne, made and warranted perpetual —
let them ratify it. The next thing for them to do is is to haul down the stripes
and the stars, as before suggested, and run up the rattlesnake.
Motley, in his "History of the United Netherlands," says of Henry III., of
" Henry III., last of the Valois line, was now thirty-three years of age. Less
" than king, less even than man, he was one of those unfortunate personages who
" seem as if born to make the idea of royalty ridiculous, and to test the capacity
" of mankind to eat and drink humiliation as if it were wholesome food. It
" proved how deeply engraved in men's minds of that century was the necessity
" of kingship, when the hardy Netherlanders, who had abjured one tyrant, and had
" been lighting generation long rather than return to him, were now willing to
" accept the sovereignty of a thing like Henry of Valois."
Could language be chosen more applicable to our own case and condition, in
accepting the Republicanism we are taking on in place of the Democracy we have
been throwing off ? Truly, it seems as if this new-fangled form of servility had
been "born to make the idea of [fealcy to slavery scandalous,] and to test ihe
" capacity of [a people flattered, befooled and besotted with the idea they are
'• free], to eat and drink humiliation as if it were wholesome food. It proves how
" deeply engraved in men's minds of this century is the necessity [of their sub-
" mission to masters,] when the hardy [people of the North,] who have abjured
" one tyrant, and have been fighting generation long rather than [submit] to him,
" are now willing to accept the sovereignty of a thing like" this Republicanism
that, in place of a yoke of straw, is putting on a yoke of iron.
How much longer will the people of the North hold themselves in loyalty to a
mob, styling itself Federal Government, that has no ability, if it has any disposi-
tion, to protect them in their rights? What claims has the rotten pretext for the
support of men professing to be intelligent and free? The pretension of a free
government is, that the people govern — that the government is their own instru-
mentality, to guard them in their rights. The Federal Government, so assuming
to style itself, is no such thing. Answers no such purpose. Does no such work.
It slaughters freedom and lays it a sacrifice at the feet of slavery. It outlaws
every individual man and woman suspected of loyalty to freedom. It vouchsafes
no protection, in one half of the realm, for the life of any citizen who will open his
mouth for freedom; and in the other half it corrupts with bribery, intrigue and
intimidation. It is an illegitimacy, composed of profligates and plunderers, who
spend one half the time to carry elections by caucusing and conspiracy, and the
other half in dividing the spoils. The people who will submit to the treatment de-
serve to feel the lash on their own backs and drag the chains on their own ankles.
It is said that the number of victims recently sacrificed by Badahung, king of
Dahomey, at his annual festival, was estimated at from 2,000 to 7,000. Call it
half way between. More than fifty times this number are annually born into
Southern slavery. These are American-born children. Now, I ask, in all sin-
cerity and candor, what single Republican voter, what single Democratic voter,
what single voter, would not sooner see his new-born infant, the fruit of his own
body, put under the club of Badahung at once, than into Southern slavery for a
life-time? Then let it be remembered, and not forgotten, that as many as vote for
the Seward amendment [what a use of the word!] to go into the Constitution, are
themselves responsible for helping to perpetuate our unparalleled barbarism and
I cannot close without calling the attention of producers to one more matter.
John Sherman, Senator Sumner and others, would induce you to invest cash cap-
ital in this corrupt, sinking concern. It is said that the English government is
held together by its enormous national debt. Was John Sherman inspired by a
contemplation of that beautiful, enticing, sublime state of things, [I wish he could
help me to a word here — for I would like to know what his thoughts were,] when
he proposed the issue of the small notes to be taken everywhere by the people —
thus striking the roots of the cancer to the vitals. Senator Sumner says :
" Then again, sir, I appeal to the people. I believe the American people are
" not more unpatriotic than the French, and only want the opportunity to show
" it — to come forward and relieve the necessities of the Government, as the
" French people recently, at the hint of Louis Napoleon, came forward with a
" loan composed of small sums. Our Governmeat stands upon the aggregate vir-
" tue and intelligence of the people, and it only remains now that we should make
•' an appeal to the aggregate wealth of the people — the farmer, the laborer, the
" mechanic. Every man, who truly loves his country, will be willing to give of
" his earnings to uphold the Constitution and the national flag; and out of these
" small earnings, inspired by a genuine patriotism, we shall have a full treasury."
When the "farmers, the laborers, the mechanics," of the North come deliber-
ately and fully to the conclusion to be subjects of such a sovereignty as has been
encroaching on them, imposing itself upon them, in time past, and is now getting
bolder, more overbearing and unscrupulous, they may with propriety, perhaps, ac-
cept of reasoning from what can be extorted from the French subjects by their
Master, to what it is for them to yield to theirs — or to do for them. Eefore the
people, who work for their money, and whose money thus procured is their
means for their bread, their clothing, their intelligence, let themselves be the
creditors of the government — let the government be indebted to them for their
" small earnings" — so that they will be in the condition of those who are under
bribes, — before they volunteer, or allow themselves to be flattered, thus to bribe
themselves into service to the government, it may be well for them to know
whether the government is theirs by virtue of any other tenure, — know whether
the government takes any other interest in them than to make its own use of
them. My counsel would be, a vigorous exercise of a "masterly inactivity," in
such a matter, toward a government so masterly inactive toward traitors — so
utterly and hopelessly in the hands of traitors, — not only the comparatively hon-
est traitors, who are outspoken and have committed overt acts, but worse traitors
still in disguise. Before the laborers of the North put their money into govern-
ment, they better have a government of th«ir own, and keep in their own hands
the appointment of officers and salaries. Why not call on the officers of government
to put something into the treasury? While the working people are toiling, de-
nying themselves time and opportunity to read and obtain knowledge to guard
themselves against the intrigues and impositions of these officers, and putting
their hundreds into the treasury, the officers are taking out thousands and squan-
dering in profligacy. For the three thousand dollars to each member of Congress
the past session, what have the people in return but squandering, demorali-
zation, treachery, iniquitous compromise, uncertainty, imbecility, impotency,
Take another item under this head, from the New York Post :
" The New National Loan, — Let us suggest to the Secretary of the Treasury,
" Gen. Dix, who has exhibited so much energy, firmress and skill in the discbarge
" of his important duties, that in making the new loan just authorized by Con-
" gress, he put in practice the liberal scheme adopted by the sagacious Emperor
*• of the French. Let it be a loan from the people to the Union- By dividing
" the stock to be issued into small amounts, say as low as twenty-five or ten dol-
" lars, it will be put in the power of a large number of persons to enter into the
" bidding for it, and to offer their assistance to the government. So Jong as our
" government scrip is limited to a hundred or a thousand certificates, large cap-
" italists alone are able to subscribe to the funds.
" There is a great deal of money in the community, of which the government
" might avail itself if it chose, which is now locked up in savings banks, or other
" institutions for small investments. Much of this is already lent to the govern-
" ment in an indirect way. It is estimated that in New York city alee more
i: than thirty millions of dollars are thus laid by. In other cities there are pro-
" portionate sums. In New England especially, where the people are thrifty and
" cautious, an immense amount of capital has accumulated in the hands of the
" middle and poorer classes. Few holders of it would object to lend it to the gOT-
" ernment, and many would be eager for such security.
" Whiie the scheme is therefore feasible it has this great recommendation, that
" it wouid directly interest in the prosperity and stability of the government a
" new and extensive slass of citizens Their attachmert to the Union would be
" strengthened, and the policy of the nation be less subject to the control of the
" large owners of money."
■A " liberal scheme adopted by the sagacious Emperor of the French." What
business has the word " liberaV in this connection? With equal propriety talk
of the " liberal scheme by which the sagacious Emperor of the French" first
foisted himself into the presidency, by befooling the people; and then, by betray-
ing them, easily helped himself on to the throne. It is a liberal use of laborers to
put money and power into the hands of the most subtle and aspiring despot in Eu-
rope. This same deviser of liberal things thus extorted, has recently been reported
as one of the wealthiest men in the world. Verily, the use of words is a great
matter. Such a use of this word liberal, in such a connection, shows how much ia
meant in general in these times, by the words freedom and Union, and kindred
words in the same category, in connection with our Federal Government. The
Union is a league, a conspiracy, to subjugate the producers, and keep them in sub-
serviency to the consumers. The policy is to make the less oppressed oppress and
keep in subjection the more oppressed, and by this employment to I eep themselves
in ignorance and servility.
This scheming editorial c'oses with unwittingly proclaiming the fact that the
Government has been getting " subject to the control of large owners of money."
The scheme now is to get in debt to the laboring classes, and thus "strengthen
" their attachment to the Union." In view of what this Union has shown itself
to be, let the "middle and poorer classes" judge of the value to themselves of
such an investment. It is presumed by the PoH that they " would be eagerforsuch
"security." What security? The matter needs defining. The Government is as
bankrupt in honor and honesty as it is in money. I repeat the suggestion that the
sharers of the government patronage be invited to invest something. It has just
been published that the patronage of the Treasury department alone is six hun-
dred and eighty thousand dollars, in the city of Washington. Equal to six hun-
dred and eighty men employed at a thousand dollars each; or sixty eight men at
ten thousand dollars each. Let these be invited to invest; and the beneficiaries
of the other departments; and the Senators and Representatives. Why should not
these be "eager for such security?" They know too well what becomes of the
money, and what the security is worth. The "liberal scheme" now is to impose
upon those whose business it is to earn the money; and keep themselves in such
ignorance while they are earniLg it, that those who play this confidence-game on
them and swindle them out of it, may return to them, and with a small percent-
age of it left, buy up their votes — if not by putting back dimes into their pockets
emptied of dollars, by putting lies into their heads, in the use of hired stump
speeches. [It is» a little like missionary operations— a hundred dollars to corrupt
and deprave the heathen with, teaching them the tactics of Christian warfare; and
a thousand dollars to the corrupted, depraved priests to carry it to them and teach
them.] The scheme is an admirable one to induce the people to fight for the
Union and the glory of their masters. Let them know that such fighting will be
for their own enslavement. If they must fight, they better fight for their own
freedom, frustrate the conspiracy, and throw off the joke.
One more item, showing what becomes of the money. The statements are
from the New York World:
" Will not the new Administration, in making its diplomatic appointments,
"have some regard to moral respectability! Our country during these latter
" years, has been sufficiently disgraced for the lack of this, and ioreign nations
" sufficiently insulted. There is hardly a court in Europe which has not had
" some specimen of the American character in its worst form - a sot, or rake, or
" swindler. We sent to St. Petersburg an Alabamian who was so helplessly
" drunk during the six months he remained there he was never presented to the
" Emperor at all, and his secretary of legation had to explain by assigning the
" true reason. We sent to Berlin an Iudianian who was often so disorderly from
" the delirium tremens at the Hotel Stadt Petersburg ( Uitter den Linden,) that its
" proprietors, to save him from the police, had to send for his secretary to bear
** him away to his own house. We sent to Stockholm a person who turned his
" position to account by becoming a regular smuggler. We have sent to Copen-
" liagen at least three precious specimens — one, a debauchee of the very lowest
" grade; the other two, notorious drunkards. We sent to the Hague a person
" who maintained the dignity of the country by living over a blacksmith's shop,
" and whose habits and associations were in ke'epirg. We sent to Madrid a man
" who made himself ridiculous by his Quixotic duels. We have sent to Turin
• • two who died of delirium tremens, and another so shameless that he insisted
" upon taking his mistress to the king's palace on a great oceasion, in spite of the
" remonstrances of the officers of the household— the result being that the noto.
" rious woman was obliged to leave the company by order of the king himself.
" We sent to Rome a person who was a hard drinker, and whose notorious and
" shocking profligacy was an utter abomination to every decent Italian. We
" sent to Constantinople a man who gave the abstemious Mohammedans their
" first idea of an accomplished American drunkard."
Four of these are each twelve thousand dollars appointments; the others, each
seven thousand and five hundred. These are among the diplomacies that, accord-
ing to Senator Seward, are indispensable to our foreign commerce.
These are but the slightest glances at what this "liberal scheme" involves.
Let as many as would swallow a barbed hook, or slip their necks into a choking
snare, bite at this bait. Let as many as would tempt themselves to hang them-
selves, accept this bribe. Let as many as have money to play into the hands of
accomplished gamblers, try the game- Before they fasten the chain about their
necks, let them see to it that at the other erd there is not a millstone. That
savi7igs bank is sure to be a lo&ing-bank — or revolution is to be turned backward,
and developing intelligence to be repressed by tyranny and corruption.
The compromising papers are urging and hurrying the legislatures now in ses-
sion to ratify the enormity instigated by Wm. H. Seward, and by him and Thomas
Corwin carried through Congress. These papers would have the Federal Govern-
ment at Washington slow toward the traitors, giving them all necessary time to
plunder and subjugate the nation; but they would have the serviles of the North in
haste to humble themselves, lest the sovereigns of the South get out of patience.
No legislature now in session has any business with the matter. None of them
were elected with that issue before the people. The same papers that are urging
on this iniquity, are the loudest in condemnation of Southern legislatures, for car-
rying on their secession proceedings, without allowing the matter to go to the
people. This was the way the Kansas-Nebraska bill, repealing the Missouri
Compromise, was carried through Congress. Let us have time with the people,
and we will find out whether or not salt will save them. My friend Wells, of Cin-
cinnati, apprehends it may require "villainous saltpeter." If Scripture would do
them any good, I would say, according to their faith so be it unto them. At the
same time, my sincere prayer to them is that they cherish better wisdom, and
exercise faith in better works, than to suffer demagogues to employ them at shoot-
ing one another, or to hold them longer bound to shoot down their more oppressed
fellows, whenever they are inclined to rise and assert their rights, as they have
been taught to do by our own fathers. If the shooting must be done, better, far
better for humanity, to face about at once and fire in the opposite direction. The
producing bees kill off their consuming drones. I have pointed out elsewhere
better uses to be made of our consumers, f See page 40.] This continent is wor-
thy a better destiny than to be made a chess-board, such as Europe has been, for
the use of such gamesters. Let the people show themselves worthy a better use
than to be made to dance for such players, — worthy their place — their time — their
These are times to dig deep and find whereon to lay sure foundations for super-
structures to stand and endure.
These are times to dive down and sink shafts into mines of enduring wealth.
These are times to bore to the bottom, thrust through, and get living waters for
the life and health of the thirsty and feverish nations.
These are times for thorough work — for words of earnestness, sincerity and
Never cease the agitation until there is purification, illumination, emancipation
[The following Resolutions, with a slight difference in the first, were reed
in the National Infidel Convention, in New York city, Oct. 7, 1860, by the author
of this Discourse:]
Resolved, That there is more for us to know, and better for us to do, than is
attainable under any Bibles and Constitutions, the productions of priests and pol-
iticians, and needing their interpretations.
2. That we should be satisfied with nothing short of rational philosophy, sound
morality and genuine philanthropy.
3. That the conventionalities of church and state are unreliable and impotent
lor these purposes.
4 That error, immorality and inhumanity should be deprecated and exposed, in
state as well as in church.
5. That it is not in character for the conquerors of the latter to quail before the
6. That those who have risen superior to fear of gods, should not be in fear
7. That we are less excusable than religionists, for supporting oppression, in-
iquity and all inhumanity — they having their Bible authority in the way, a stum-
bling block which we have transcended.
8. That priests and politicians, left to themselves, wax worse and worse, cor-
rupting church and state.
9 That church and state — both being instituted for government, and in their
nature lustful of power for control and self-perpetuation — in their kindred and
common jealousy of too much human freedom, hinder each other for good, and
help each other for evil.
10. That, after distrusting the church for reforming the state or itself, it is not
for us to leave the state to itself or the church, but we should expose its corrup-
tions, and withstand its aggressions upon the rights of mankind.
11. That it is not the part of faithful parents, but is cowardly, base and un-
manly, to shirk the accumulating evil upon our children.
12. That it is for triflers and dreaineis to deal in abstractions — for philosophers
and philanthropists to be practical men.
13. That our influence for good in any one direction, will be strengthened
and made efficient by our character for consistency in well-doing in all other
14. That conservatism, as it is construed for the purposes of politics and relig-
ion, is cowardice and confusion.
15. That no canting conservators are to be trusted as benefactors, fit to have
great human interests in charge, who make conventionalities to be finalities — who
s-acrifice philanthropic men to unphilanthropic institutions — who live and move,
and plan and plot, to hold the ruled in the condition of instrumentalities, to be
v.sed for the benefit of the rulers.
16. That pertinacious reverence for parchments has poured out seas of human
17. That the overthrow of governments, civil as well as ecclesiastical, comes
from fearing and resisting change, the irresistible, inevitable course of nature.
18. That national and state constitutions are no more to be regarded as final-
ities than Bibles.
19. That, whereas the Bible closes with a curse from its god, to fall on any who
will add to or diminish from its sayings, the United States Constitution provides
lor its own alteration and amendment.
20. That an excuse for our fathers in their infirmities is not an excuse for us
in our improved conditions.
21. That it would be as wise and as well for us, obstinately to persist in using
their implements for farming and their machinery for manufacturing, as their
constitutions and laws for government.
22. That they had no more right, if they had more desire, to entail these on
us, unalteied and unalterable, than those.
23. That witch-craft was as entailable as slave-craft; and would have been less
harmful in the United States Constitution.
24. That rights inalienable are uncompromisable.
25. That it is not for one to dictate to a hundred— a third of a million, to thirty
26. That leagues, cabals, caucuses, conspiracies, to blind, mislead and cheat the
producers for the benefit of the consumers, are alike villainous in religionists and
27. That fealty to party should never displace fidelity to human fraternity. _
26. That it is abuse of "power, breach of trust, perversion of natural appoint-
ment, the highest treason of which intelligent beings can be guilty, to make use
of intelligence to deceive and keep in ignorance for selfish ends — for base advan-
tages — for the purposes of cupidity and rapacity. '
29. That all human beings are entitled to be benefited by all human knowledge.
30. That human knowledge is the highest and profoundest in our reach; is what
we have to rely on to regulate our conduct in life-
31. That this knowledge is constantly improving by experience and observation;
is more this year than it was last; more to-day than it was yesterday.
32. That Bibles and Constitutions, therefore, being human productions, need
often changing and improving, if they are not to hinder human progress.
33. That the Bible of Christendom", and the Constitution of the United States,
are exceedingly defective, and every day losing power, as any fit rules for govern-
ing human conduct.
34. That the time comes when over-persistency and obstinacy, in the conserva-
tion of time-worn institutions, makes necessities, and therefore virtues, of apos-
tacy and revolt.
35. That it is the part of wisdom to prevent these undesirable remedies, by
adapting our appointments, conforming our conventionalities to the indications of
36. That in these regards, in our own country, at the present time, while things
appear to be getting better in the church, they are certainly getting worse in
37. That it is already less injurious to reputation, and dangerous to life, to ex-
pose the abominations of the Bible, than of the United States Constitution.
38. That neither of these imperfect productions of past defective intelligence,
is any longer safe for a true man to swear by.
39. That while the power of the church for despotic sway is waning, and the
state is becoming more and more a formidable foe to freedom — freedom of speech
as well as of action — freedom of thought as well as of expression — [for what is it
worth to think, without the right to speak? — it is the value of the vilest vassal-
age] — we are bound as philosophers, as philanthropists, as men, to meet, rebuke
and repel the aggression.
40. That any institution which shrinks from scrutiny and suppresses speech, is
subversive of the best interests of all whose interests are involved with it, or
affected by it.
41. That we owe it to ourselves and mankind, to absolve ourselves from all
allegiance to any part of the Bible or Constitution thus involving or compro-
42. That just as the helpers of murderers are themselves murderers, so the help-
ers of oppressors are themselves oppressors — the helpers of enslavers are them-
43. That to profess devotion to freedom, and practice enslaving our fellows,
is to proclaim and make ourselves hypocrites and liars.
44. That for the producers to help on and strengthen the hands of the con-
sumers, in the iniquitous work of making capital to own labor, is to forge chains
for themselves and their children, and justify the attitude and treatment of those
who contemptuously call them the -'mud sills" of society.
45. That to curse and kill for political heresy — for exposure of error and
wrong in the civil policy — in the Constitution and laws — is as dastardly and det*
rimental, as to curse and kill for religious heresy — for exposure ol error and
wrong in ecclesiastical policy — in Bibles and church codes.
46. That Charles Sumner was struck down in the Senate, and John Brown was
strangled on the scaffold, in support of constitutional, legalized, Bible-sanctioned
■wrong — the defenders of freedom sacrificed to slavery — good men immolated on
the altar of a bad institution.
47. That the bloody, brutalizing system of slavery in the United States, has its
vitality, power and perpetuity, in the Union of the States.
48. That in the constitutional provision, by which that sectional scheme of in-
iquity has had its own peculiar representation in the national legislature, amount-
ing to a balance of power for its own purposes, providing itself army and navy
for its own protection, and carrying on wars of conquest for the extension of its
own dire domination — involving the renewal of the foreign slave trade — all sup-
porters of the Union as it is, are fearfully responsible, and must be held to account
in the convictions of all the just.
49. That to be faithful to rascality, is to be perfidious to honesty.
5U. That allegiance to the wrong, is disloyalty to the right.
51. That the Union prevents the right and protracts the wrong; hinders free-
dom and helps slavery; makes peace imDOSsible and war unavoidable.
52. That in " shrieking" for the preservation of the murderous compact, all
professing friends of freedom are but " foaming out their own shame" — their
contemptible clamor being possibly traceable to nothing but stupidity or venality,
or both of these abominations.
53. That liberty and slavery are moral antagonisms, natural antipathies, — ths
rights of the one being the wrongs of the other — love of the one, hatred of the
other — life to the one, death to the other.
[The following Resolution was also read on the same occasion — an odd link
that did not get welded into the foregoing chain :]
Resolved, That it is in the nature of religion and politics to prostitute the press,
the forum, and all other instrumentalities and appliances whose legitimate and
proper uses are the promotion of the public virtue and the common welfare, to all
illegitimacy and corruption of power — producing, among other monstrosities, such
breeds of ranting hypocrites and brawling blackguards as the high places, the low
places, and all places, in Christian community are cursed with.
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